On November 15, 2010, 60,000 Nigerians in Lagos alone and unspecified number of Nigerians in all the states of the Federation and Abuja sat in blistering sun to write employment test in which each candidate paid 1500 Naira application fee. Do we pay to apply for a job in Nigeria? Your guess is as good as mine. The sat in an open stadium, the desk was their lap and the agency is a federal agency called NDLEA (National Drug Enforcement Agency).
The photos of this bizarre act called employment test bled my heart. It is so painful if you are sick and have no money there is no fall back provided by any government and many will die from curable disease in a blink. If you are unemployed, there is no safety net for you…those sixty thousand Nigerians in Lagos alone believe it or not majority will borrow the 1500 Naira to enable them apply for the job the probability of not hired is 9/10. Majority of those sixty thousand will borrow or beg for money so as to transport themselves to be able to write the test. How on earth can a federal agency be so mean, heartless and callous to charge potential employees money before they can take employment test. What is the money for? Is there no allocation for human resource for NDLEA in 2010 budget?
My beef here and the reasons for this letter are one to ask you our President if you are aware how your own people are treated like animals and society misfits by a federal agency which is under your watch and secondly to plead with you to intervene in these callous behavior and pattern of a federal agency. I am more distressed and disgusted with this practice direction in that this agency is the same agency that is given the authority to arrest narcotics drug peddling and prosecute offenders.
This is not peculiar to NDLEA alone and not an exception, it is a pattern and has happened in police recruitment, Road Safety, Army, etc of recent. Do we expect other nationals to respect our citizens when we don’t respect ours? How can we expect other countries to treat our citizens with dignity when we as Nigerians and in this case Federal agencies treat fellow Nigerians like slaves and rejects The pertinent question here is; is NDLEA trying to make money out of the unemployed? What is the 1500 Naira for? Is to print the application form or the exam sheets? There is more to it than meets the eye here. To me this is day light robbery against citizens and must be strongly pushed back and condemned by any well meaning Nigerian and especially you our President and leader. These candidates might be our wives, husbands, sisters and brothers, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, children.
My Suggestion Mr. President
- With immediate effect, out rightly ban an open employment test where fellow Nigerians are treated like animals, especially when that agency is a government agency.
- There should be a guideline on the minimum level in which a potential employer must treat applicants. Among which must be a decent place to take a test, a decent waiting environment. A maximum number of intakes into a venue. As minimum Federal agency should break their employment test into groups or batches to forestall the shame of November 15, 2010.
- No employer can no longer charge any applicant any form of fee in whatever disguise.
- That NDLEA as reference point must refund all applicants the 1500 Naira the charged as application fee.
- NDLEA as a reference should be warned and sanctioned and fined for ill treating fellow citizens in a dehumanizing manner.
- All Government agency and ministries as a minimum must reach out to applicants via email or mail the outcome of their employment test. Also that test by Federal agency must be subject to access by the public on request.
Mr. President, majority of the challenges and problems we face as a nation are self inflicted and solvable by us Nigerians and this one is typically of one of them. To state the obvious many of our citizens has been left far behind and it is no more an option to let our citizens go through hell for things that can be done with common sense and save the citizens the agony, It is enough agony not to have a job and in addition the federal agency that suppose to protect the people against scrupulous elements are now taking advantage of the peoples vulnerability, and fully partaking in the fraud against the Nigerian people.
Charity begins at home, if the Federal Government of Nigerian must rebrand Nigeria, the rebrand then must start at home, so it have to start with the federal government and its agencies and this incident totally needs rebranding immediately so as never to happen again. Also before NDLEA and other agencies write a rejoinder to puncture the contents of this letter, it is my suggestion that NDLEA be circumspect and check their processes especially when it comes to employment exercise what they could do better, reorient their human resource department to mange such exercise in a dignified manner and take full responsibilities for charging the unemployed an unwarranted fee to take an employment test.
Mr. President, the number of unemployed in our nation should unnerve any leader because in these group of people are intelligent men and women who have dreams, these are men and women who could be our scientists, historians, professors, doctors, engineers, artist, movie stars, sports starts, artisans, Nobel Prize nominees and winners etc, but literally their dreams is gradually fading away from them for no fault of theirs. When dreams of these men and women ebb with the tide, in them Nigeria is dropping a time bomb.
My heart and prayer go to those who are still struggling with unemployment/Underemployment in the face of many opportunities for no fault of theirs.
Thank You Mr. President, I hope you will instruct your cabinet members and directors to do the needful and stop this deceit. May God guide you to reach out to the main street Nigerians, where their needs and aspirations become your passion and priority and you as the leader of the most populous black nation provide the building blocks and foundation that will lead this potentially great country to prosperity, liberty, and equality, economic and social freedom.