An Abuja-based lawyer, Mr. Pelumi Olajengbesi, has threatened to sue the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, following what he described as “discriminatory recruitment process.”
Olajengbesi, in a letter addressed to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, on March 26, vowed to approach the court to ensure protection of the fundamental rights of Nigerians who are qualified to apply but are barred from participating because of age criteria.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the criteria for Graduate Trainee, among others, require applicants to have graduated from an accredited university/polytechnic/monotechnic not earlier than 2014.
The criteria also requires that applicants must not be more than 28 years of age as at December 31, 2018.
Olajengbesi, however, pointed out that the criteria and process violated Section 3(e)(iv) of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure), 2009 which protects the public interest of Nigerians.
“Following the advertisement for the 2019 NNPC recruitment for Graduate Trainee, Experienced Hires, Senior Officers and Supervisory Cadre on your official website, dated March 13, 2019 of which the criteria for application include that an applicant must not be above the ages of 28, 34 and 37 respectively.
“I wish to express outright disapproval on the above set criteria used by the Corporation in the ongoing recruitment, being discriminatory, segregatory and exclusive to the disadvantage of qualified Nigerians who may wish to participate in the process.
“My disapproval of this age discriminatory recruitment process is anchored on the provision of Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which stops any person, organisation or body from discriminating against any citizen of Nigeria,” Olajengbesi said in the letter.
According to him, the action of NNPC also violates Section 17(3) of the Nigerian Constitution which provides for the opportunity of securing adequate means of livelihood and abhors all unequal processes in the labour process.
“The NNPC as a federal entity must be at the vanguard of safeguarding and justifying this provision through its dealings with the public.
“It is rather disheartening that an esteemed Corporation such as the NNPC has set itself on the path of total disregard of constitutional provisions, while being an agent of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”