This will be brief. Over 15 people died last weekend while undertaking a recruitment exercise or aptitude test to join the Nigerian Immigration. Others have written quite extensively (here and here) about the issue and expressed the outrage many Nigerians feel.
In the aftermath of the recruitment exercise, there has been debate over the actual amount collected by the Ministry of Interior/Nigerian Immigration Service. Some say 500 million naira others say over a billion. There are also rumors that out of the 5000 jobs on offer about 4000 have already been doled out to members of senate, governors, ministers and so on to bring their own candidates who can bypass the due process. Isnt that freaking awesome? And of course the main focus of the outrage is the Minister of Interior who had the gall and audacity to blame the candidates for what can be at best described as the shoddiest job of planning in the universe that resulted in the death of people.
Of course our own action president has called the Minister and Head of Immigration for a chat and promised to investigate the matter. That is all good and dandy. Firing them will help calm the outrage and I definitely recommend that but what laws and guidelines are in place to prevent such occurrences from happening again. I could be wrong but things like this have happened in the past, the only difference is that the Nigerian social media was not as active then and citizen reporting not as hot as it is. Yes we are outraged but we need to think up solutions.
I suggest an act or law that protects the rights of the unemployed. Companies need to be made to adhere to strict guidelines for conducting tests and interviews as well as crowd control in line with tenets of basic human dignity. Companies and agencies that are found to pack candidates like sardines in halls will be made to pay fines or sanctioned. I have been unemployed in this country and it is not pretty. We need channels of report for abuse and this extends beyond the case of the unemployed (think a phone number, email, twitter handle etc). Unemployment is huge in our country and until it is dealt with, the job market is a buyer’s market and as such companies will continue to treat the unemployed seeking jobs anyhow they want unless government and civil society groups step in to level the playing field and protect the rights of people. Otherwise even if we sack the silly Minister of Interior, who is to say the same tragedy wont happen in a few years with another recruitment exercise?
Anyway those are my two cents. Rest in peace to those who lost their lives in the NIS recruitment exercise.
How do we prevent this from happening again?