The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) have protested the 28-year age limit contained in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to reconsider the age limit contained in its recent vacancy notice to avoid mass protests.
The association pressed home their demands on Thursday, March 28, in a statement jointly signed by its leaders, Comrades Abubakar Muhammed Gambo and Idowu Odebunmi.
The release made available to Legit.ng states that “The NNPC cannot claim ignorance of the many challenges that attend our educational system and how these have greatly stretched degree programmes in public owned institutions”.
“It is on record that the recent employment process of the NNPC automatically disqualifies job seekers above the age of 28 and all who obtained a degree certification beyond 2014.”
“The criteria for employment being canvassed and pursued by the Corporation, is not only discriminatory but also unpatriotic and reminiscent of an autocratic institution.”
“It is the height of bureaucratic excess and overreach for the NNPC to deign to place an age ceiling over expertise. Age should not determine the fate of a million job seekers on a discriminatory whim with no bearing on the dynamics of our time.”
Towing the path of NANS is a human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, who reechoed that the NNPC should remove the age limit for applicants or risk being sued.
According to Olajengbesi, NNPC’s recruitment process affirms the long-held suspicion that it is a law unto itself. The lawyer said Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as Amended) expressly protected all Nigerians irrespective of status from discriminatory processes.
“The on-going recruitment process in the corporation affirms the long-held suspicion that it is a law unto itself’, devoid of observance of best global labour practices”.
“Let it be noted that there is an actionable instance against the NNPC in the event it fails to caution itself and take the part of equity in the issue before it.”
Legit.ng reports that Olajengbesi urged President Buhari, the minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, and Alhaji Maikanti Baru, group managing director of NNPC, to revisit the criteria laid out by the NNPC in its recruitment process.
He noted that this would be in the in the interest of all Nigerians.