IYD 2022: Eliminate Age Limits for Job Opportunities
…use your youthful years well – Abdul-Ganiyy Raji
August 13, 2022
Nigerian youths irrespective of their educational, faith, socio-economic differences have been urged to use their youthful years well and not squander them. This statement was made in Lagos by the National Da’wah Officer and Secretary to the Mission Board of Nasrul Lāhi-l-Fātih Society (NASFAT), AbdulGaniyy Raji in his message to all youths in commemoration of this year’s International Youth day.
Every 12th day of August is marked by the United Nations and countries and organisations around the world as *International Youth Day (IYD)*. Each year is given a theme which focuses on addressing a burning challenge or drawing attention to an important global issue. This year’s edition is themed: *Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages.*
When we break down the theme above, we can say that it encourages governments around the world to create opportunities for all age groups, respect the rights of all age groups and eliminate discrimination on the basis of age. The theme also draws attention to the need for intergenerational cross-fertilization of ideas between the old and the young. Older generations have ideas that can help younger generations. Younger generations also have ideas that can benefit older generations. Older generations should not be stingy with their knowledge, wisdom and ideas, and younger generations should also be humble enough to learn from older generations. Younger generations should also place their youthful ideas, skills and expertise at the disposal of older generations.
I have come to notice that, in recent times, younger generations hardly accord older generations the respect they deserve for their experience and wisdom. Some young fellows look down on older people who are financially weak or older people who are uneducated in the western sense of education. You see such young people saying, *“What advice can an old man give me?”*. Some youths feel that the wisdom of the older generations is obsolete, anachronistic and irrelevant to the modern world. To such young fellows, tapping from the wisdom of the elders is a sheer waste of time.
Some older generations also lack a good understanding of characteristics of the modern youths. They see any attempt by the youths to politely criticize an idea emanating from them as an act of rudeness. Some older generations erroneously assume that every young man or woman is rude, arrogant and incorrigible. The truth is that modern youths are scientific and critical. They do not accept ideas from elders hook, line and sinker. They filter and sieve every piece of information handed to them before accepting or declining it. The older generations need to understand the younger generations need to understand that the younger generations are not empty slates. They also have ideas that the older generations can avail themselves of.
Since the theme of this year’s International Youth Day also talks about creating a world for all ages, we can call upon governments around the world and organisations or companies that provide job opportunities and other opportunities to eliminate age limits in determining the beneficiaries of the opportunities they provide. It is not uncommon to see age limits being set for most jobs or opportunities. You see something like, “Those who are aged above 25 should not apply”. Opportunities should be made open to all age groups. Merit and personal attributes should determine who gets a job, not age or any other primordial consideration. As younger generations need opportunities, older generations also deserve to be given opportunities.
Let me now talk to, and about the youth. I want to remind the youth to put their youthful years to effective use. Those who are regarded as older generations today were once young men and women. Youthfulness is a blessing, but it could become a curse and a source of regret later in life if it is poorly deployed. Young people should not just do what their fellow young men are doing. They should do what pleases their God and their parents. They should focus on doing things that guarantee a bright future for them and things that will make their old age a pleasing experience.
I will conclude this message by reminding governments around the world about their responsibilities towards the youth. The global percentage of the youth requires that youth empowerment and youth development should be made a top priority by all. Youths who are unemployed, undeveloped, unskilled, un-cared-for or un-empowered will become a nuisance to their communities and to the world.