A young Nigerian has highlighted the deeply entrenched problems associated with the processes involved for recruitment into the Nigerian Immigration Service.
The recruitment into the Nigeria Immigration service has recently generated a lot of heat but regrettable no light. There has been a stifling power tussle among the stakeholders and the victims, sadly have continued to be the Nigerian youths, a clear and not too remote example is the 2014 recruitment stampede.
On the 20th of August 2015, after three (3) months of induction, 2000 officers were dispersed and sent home with vague and unascertainable reasons, pending further directives. This dispersal has shown the level of abuse and exploitation of the young and vulnerable people in our country and it is saddening.
Suffice it to say, that the youths have never expected the government to solve all the problems and challenges of its teeming youth but we hold the opinion that a slight change in the priorities of government, can ensure that the youths have not only a level playing field but also a decent shot at life, with the doors of opportunities remaining open to all.
However, in these past twelve months, those responsible for our plight have chosen to ignore our agonies and pains and this has necessitated that we narrate our ordeals so as to give you an insight into our predicament.
If you recall, after the failed Immigration recruitment of 2014, the Federal Government set up a Presidential Committee to Assist in the Immigration Recruitment.
The membership of that committee was constituted as follows;
1. The Chairman Federal Civil Service Commission (Chairman)
2. The Permanent Secretary (General Services) OSGF
3. The Comptroller- General of Immigration
4. The Representative of the Inspector General of Police
5. The representative of the DG Department of State Services
6. The representative of the Corps Marshal FRSC
7. The representative of the Commandant General Civil Defense Corps
8. The representative of the Comptroller- General Prisons
9. The representative of the Attorney General of the Federation
10. The representative of D G, Federal Character Commission
11. The representative of the Head of Service.
The then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim issued and signed the following terms of reference for this Committee and they are ;
1. To liaise with the Board to confirm the actual number of personnel to be recruited
2. To assist the Board by advertising the recruitment with a view to starting the process afresh
3. To assist the Board by processing the application, short listing of potential applicants and conducting necessary interviews for the purpose of the recruitment exercise
4. To assist the Board by following all relevant laws, Public Service Rules and guidelines to determine successful applicants and announce their appointment into the NIS
5. To ensure that three family members of each deceased applicant from the aborted exercise, at least one of whom should be a female are given immediate and automatic appointment
6. To ensure that all those injured are given immediate and automatic appointment in the NIS.
After almost a year had passed, this committee was constituted and vacancies were re-advertised on February 9, 2015, posted on the website of the Federal Civil Service Commission and on the pages of National Dailies. A copy of this advertisement is herein attached for your perusal.
The rigorous recruitment process started with a computer-based aptitude test, written in centres across Nigeria. The test was supervised by officers from the Nigeria Prison Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigeria Immigration Service and the Nigeria Police.
The successful candidates after the computer-based test, were short-listed for an oral interview, physical examination and document verification in their various states of origin. Successful candidates who were offered appointments were selected based on total scores from the computer-based aptitude test, physical examination, document verification and oral interview within their state of origin, with regards to the principle of Federal Character.
The selected candidates were then required to report to the various training schools in Ahoada, Orlu and Kano for documentation, collection of service numbers, posting letters and appointment letters. The Assistant Superintendent II Officers were however not given appointment letters at the training school but were issued with posting letters, wherein it was indicated that their appointment letters will be sent in due course. These appointment letters have not be sent till date.
It will merely be stating the obvious to say we risked our lives to travel to these designated centres nationwide for the computer-based aptitude test, document verification, physical examination, oral interview, documentation and collection of appointment letters and posting letters, Most of us were operating on a tight budget, but we had to make the trip, some were even robbed, while some had various degrees of accidents during the course of their journey, but we endured.
After this, we were posted to our various state commands, where we underwent a rigorous three months of induction training course; involving intense military drills, fire-arms training and combatant training. During those months, we toiled in extreme weather conditions, endured the lash of the whip of our instructors. The challenges we had to face were real, serious and enormous. It was every bit, a long and rugged battle for survival as no accommodation was provided, neither was there any provision for stipends for feeding and transportation. Yet we carried on because of the motivation and the hope that we were already a part of the service and our remuneration will be paid soon. Most of us had to take loans to survive, a large number of us had to quit their jobs for this offer and most unfortunate was the fact that we lost a recruit during this period of induction training and another after dispersal.
It is therefore disheartening to see that despite the fact that we have kept good faith for all these months of training we were unjustly sent home for no fault of ours. We were treated (and are still treated) with high disregard and contempt, like refugees in our own beloved country. This decision by the service and the Ministry of Interior to send us home was made without thinking of the rippling effect it could have on our present and most especially on our future and our loved ones. We have become the object of scorn and ridicule in our neighbourhoods and this situation has accounted for untold woes in the lives of our parents, most of whom now have to take blood pressure medications to steady themselves and stay alive.
We are made up of men and women from all parts of the country, men and women whose pride is founded on the untamed desire to put our knowledge to good use and give back to our dear country Nigeria. Why should our hopes be dashed in such a contemptible manner?
During these months of suspension, we have gone through a lot of psychological trauma. these twelve months in all honesty has re-emphasized the reason for the alarming rate of Brain-drain from our country as there has not only been gross wastage of the country’s most virile and precious assets; the talent and energy of these 2000 (now 1998 as two are deceased) youths but has deepened the angst and popular belief that the Nigerian youth cannot live a decent life within the shores of his/her country .
It is laughable to say the least, that the service complains of lack of adequate manpower to man our porous borders and to provide the necessary drive for the growth of the Nigerian Immigration Service but ironic to note that nothing has been done to recall these young, vibrant and technology savvy recruits unbridled with innovative ideas and enthusiasm.
We want to reiterate that we are no longer civilians, with blood, sweat and tears, we have been inducted into paramilitary life, with countless training on the handling and use of fire arms and many more service secrets which were at our disposal all these months. Do they expect us to go back to our previous lives as civilians with the knowledge and secrets they have given to us? Do they expect us to become hoodlums, thugs or delinquents especially in this period of global security challenges and terrorism? Do they expect us to use what we have learnt against the country? If they expect these from us, we won’t, instead, we shall reaffirm our patriotic spirits, we shall incorporate all we have learnt into the growth and development of this country.
We got this job on merit. We do not want to be back in the dreary streets of unemployment that once threatened our life’s goals and ambitions.
We do not belong to any political party, we are Nigerians; Nigerian youths, and most importantly we are the future of this great nation.
-Via FINANCIAL WATCH