Lars Lagerback has included 33-year-old striker Kanu, while also recalling John Utaka and Everton's Victor Anichebe in his 30-man provisional squad for the FIFA World Cup.
Utaka had been overlooked by former boss Amodu Shaibu for the African Nations Cup earlier this year while Anichebe has only recently returned from injury.
"Individual skills and fitness levels were considered when picking the players," Lagerback said. "It does not matter if a player is 20 or 35 years old."
There were also call-ups for Anichebe's Everton team-mates Joseph Yobo and Ayegbeni Yakubu while injured Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel was also named.
Mikel missed the final three games of recently-crowned English champions Chelsea's season due to a knee injury and is set to miss the weekend's FA Cup final against Portsmouth.
He is, however, expected to be fit by the end of may in time for Nigeria's pre-FIFA World Cup training camp.
Nigeria are set to play friendlies against Saudi Arabia in Austria on 25 May and Colombia in London on 30 May before heading to South Africa for further matches against Korea DPR and the tournament hosts.
Nigeria will play Argentina, South Korea and Greece in Group B.
Nigeria's provisional squad is: Vincent Enyeama (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Dele Ayenugba (Beni Yehuda FC), Bassey Akpan (Bayelsa United), Austine Ejide (Hapoel Petah Tikva); Taye Taiwo (Marseille), Elderson Echiejile (Rennes), Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow) Onyekachi Apam (Nice), Joseph Yobo (Everton), Daniel Shittu (Bolton), Ayodele Adeleye (Sparta Rotterdam), Rabiu Afolabi (Salzburg), Peter Suswan (Lobi Stars); Kalu Uche (Almeria), Dickson Etuhu (Fulham), John Obi Mikel (Chelsea), Sani Kaita (Alaniya), Lukman Haruna (Monaco), Ayila Yussuf (Dynamo Kiev), Peter Osaze (Lokomotiv Moscow); Yakubu Ayegbeni (Everton), Victor Anichebe (Everton), Chinedu Obasi (Hoffenheim), Nwankwo Kanu (Portsmouth), Obafemi Martins (Wolfsburg), Ideye Brown (Sochaux), Ikechukwu Uche (Zaragoza), John Utaka (Portsmouth), Peter Utaka (Odense), Victor Obinna (Malaga)
* Please note that squad lists only become official after they have been submitted to and announced by FIFA.