Tolu Babaleye, a human rights attorney has asked the Federal Government to waive the 30-year age restriction for the Nigeria Immigration Service's ongoing hiring process.
The NIS set the maximum age for applicants at 30 years old in a recruiting advertisement that was previously published in a national daily, while doctors and pharmacists were restricted to 35 years of age.
A copy of the appeal was written to Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Senate President Ahmed Lawan.
"We wish to call on the Management of Immigration Service and the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Senate of the Federal Republic, to immediately remove or change the age restriction to 40 years old and maintain this for the following 10 years in order to address the backlog of employable Nigerian youths and graduates from universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education", it reads.
However, a lawyer told PUNCH correspondent in an interview that such an age restriction should be removed from recruitment processes nationwide because it was out of touch with actual circumstances.
He claimed that the country's current predicament had left many young people over the specified age without employment, and he added that many young people who graduated from higher educational institutions ended up squandering years before finding a job.
“The petition is about the Nigerian youths and their rights. We wrote to the National Assembly and other agencies to stop using Nigerian youths as victims. (the) Immigration service has just released an advert for recruitment into the service and they placed the maximum entry age at 30 years.
“This is unwarranted and insensitive on the part of the government because Nigerian youths are expected to study for at least four years in the university after passing through the huddles of getting admission,” he said.
The lawyer added, “Even the ones who graduated early could not access jobs for five years and more and by the time the job opportunity will come as we have with Immigration now and many others like them, the prospective applicants would have crossed that 30-year age limit, It’s unfair.
“We have written the petition to the National Assembly, Immigration and Customs for them to see reasons why they need to remove that peg of 30 years as the age limit for recruitment. In advanced countries, there is no discrimination on age. Everybody can work and as long as they can work, no age is useless.”
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