Nigeria Immigration Service saga: the other grave issues | © Fola Daniel Adelesi

By now you would have seen several pictures and videos of the several thousands of people who wanted to write the test proposed by Nigeria Immigration Service. While I have serious concerns about the number of people who attended and the places assigned for the tests, I think the turn out shows some more serious issues that people tend to be overlooking. The issues are both on the side of the job seeking Nigerians and the prospective employer which in this case is the Nigeria Immigration Service.

When I heard that all the people who went to the venue of the test were asked to pay a thousand naira, I was furious. Furious because in the professional world of HR, I think it is wrong to ask someone who is putting in for a test to pay any dime for the test. The expenses to be incurred ought to be on the company. After that, any selected applicant whose appointment has been confirmed and has resumed work can pay for anything he wants to have. So many figures have been flying around the social media sites about how many people attended the interview and the likely income that the agency made from innocent job seeking Nigerians. It is wrong to have made billions from job seekers.

On the other hand, I need to address the unsuspecting applicants. If I needed a job and I was told that the venue of the test for the job is a stadium, some wires would touch in my brain. I remember there was a time I got an invitation for an interview. I thought so well about it and told my wife I was not going to show up for it because I just feel something’s not right about this. While I must admit that people are desperate to get a good job, their desperation should carry some wisdom so much so that some people are not ripping you off while looking for more. Look for a good job but do it with wisdom. Maybe I also need to write on what to watch out for to know if an employer is out to grab the little that you have.

It was also observed that many of the people who went for the test are people who already have one job or the other. It’s not that they are fresh job seekers but they want better jobs. They want something that offers more security. They went out to look for the kind of job that secures their future and help to create the life that they have always desired. I can imagine some of them thinking about pension after retirement, gratuity immediately after retirement or the kind of loans that their salaries would give them access to. The massive crowd that was seen goes beyond a test that was poorly organised. It shows that people have issues with their jobs and they are not feeling secured with what they are doing at the moment.

From all that I read, I am not certain because it is not confirmed, the agency has about four thousand five hundred (4500) vacancies and we can safely say well over five hundred thousand (500,000) people applied. If the agency does not have the intention to cheat these people, and it does not have a competent HR department, it could have outsourced the recruitment to specialists who know how to streamline to the closest figure required by the employer. They will create interviews in phases starting with the application via documents. That will screen some people and the next will be an online test which can screen more people before a physical test where you will now see more than the needed crowd. This shows that we still have systems that are lagging behind in a twenty first century. Its strategies are archaic and the leaders involved are either not looking for way forward or are just neglecting wise counsel.

Again it is unfortunate that the President or anyone in presidency has not made an official statement on this issue just to give the disappointed and cheated job seekers a soothing relief. An official statement is necessary because the agency involved is an arm of government. This is also happening right under the nose of a government that claims it is creating jobs for people. How can people know you are working hard? Is it by the PR you engage in well articulated speeches, radio and television presentations? No! It is what the people feel in their social and economic life that tells us the government is working.

Now this might be hard but my drawn conclusion is that the saga shows a disorganised system taking advantage of people whose desperation or frustration has made them gullible. If you are in the Immigration system or know someone there and are reading this, suggest ways of conducting tests to a crowd to them. If you are a job seeker, learn that it is not every job you should apply for and that the employer might just be ripping you off. You should also work on yourself and see what you can make of your skills rather than being ripped off by some people who don’t even care about you.


Fola Daniel Adelesi
President/CEO,
Edible Pen.

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