Mild Drama Unfolds During Senate Plenary over Age Discrimination Motion
A mild drama ensued in the Senate during Wednesday’s plenary when Senator Adams Oshiomhole voiced his disagreement with a motion presented by Senator Abba Moro. The motion highlighted the perceived discrimination against Nigerians based on their age, whether by government agencies or the private sector.
The motion urged government Ministries and Agencies to discourage both public and private employers from posting job advertisements that implicitly deprive qualified Nigerians of job opportunities solely due to their age. During the debate, Senator Oyekanchi Nwebonyi from Ebonyi North supported the motion, calling on employers to eliminate age restrictions in their hiring processes.
However, Senator Adams Oshiomhole from Edo North held a different viewpoint. He appreciated Senator Moro’s intention but stated that the motion lacked enforceability. According to Oshiomhole, Nigerian laws do not allow the imposition of age-related policies on employers. While the Nigerian labor statute confirms that individuals aged 18 and above are employable, the decision to hire someone remains at the employer’s discretion. Oshiomhole emphasized that the Senate should not pass resolutions that might undervalue the conclusions reached during its sessions.
The presiding officer sought clarification, asking Oshiomhole if he was opposed to the motion, to which he replied with respect that he indeed opposed the motion. Senator Osita Ngwu from Enugu West criticized Oshiomhole for not allowing those in support of the motion to express their opinions before shutting it down.
Senator Ngwu shared a personal story about a friend named Goddy, who had graduated in mechanical engineering alongside him but struggled to find a job due to age restrictions. Goddy had to repeatedly falsify his age to appear younger and qualify for job opportunities. The situation worsened to the point where he even removed his primary school education from his CV. Despite joining politics later, the forgery issue continued to haunt Goddy, causing petitions against him.
The presiding officer, Godswill Akpabio, expressed concern over the forgery and asked Senator Ngwu what he did to correct his friend’s actions. Senator Ngwu responded that he had advised against it, as he was aware of the implications, and did not support such behavior.
The Senate eventually passed a resolution urging the federal ministry of labor and employment to develop policies that promote equality, equal opportunity, and fair treatment in access to employment at all levels.