•‘Dead’ company handled nationwide test
Fresh facts have emerged about last week nationwide recruitment test for applicants of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), which culminated in the death of more than 20 applicants following a stampede at several venues of the test, with the Sunday Tribune obtaining a letter written by the Comptroller-General of Immigration warning against the planned recruitment “in order to avoid a repeat of the experiences of the past recruitment exercise.”
The letter, which was written by the CG of Immigration, dated 9 September 2013 and directed to the Secretary of the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Service Board (CDFIPB) and also for the attention of the then Board’s Director, Dr. R.K. Attahiru, had drawn the attention of the Board to an advertisement for appointments into Categories A (Superintendent Cadre) and B (Inspectorate Cadre), which he noted took him by surprise as the head of the agency since his agency had been delegated to conduct recruitment into the latter category.
But the letter, which alleged that the NIS was sidelined in the recruitment exercise, appeared to have been ignored by the embattled Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro and members of the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board, a decision which has led to the ongoing controversy about the recruitment saga.
This is just as indications emerged at the weekend that the consultancy firm that handled the recruitment exercise, Drexel Nigeria Limited, was a ‘dead’ one, having failed to file its annual returns to the Corporate Affairs Commission since 1994.
According to a letter reportedly written by the CAC letter to a national daily (not Nigerian Tribune), dated March 21, 2014, the company had not filed its annual returns, which is a company’s audited report that could legally prove it is still operating under Nigeria’s laws, for the past 20 years.
CAC noted that it is a crime for any company operating in the country not to file its annual returns to the commission.
Parradang in the letter, had protested that he was embarrassed and surprised to learn from a newspaper of plans to hire new hands for an organisation he heads, saying: “The said publication or advertisement for appointment of persons into the Nigeria Immigration Service without consultation or any input whatsoever from us is to say the least, surprising and embarrassing to me. I feel NIS should be taken along in this issue regarding staff recruitment into Category “B” in particular, which is usually conducted and supervised by the Service.”
The newspaper publication Mr. Parradang referred to was a Daily Trust, September 9, 2013 advertisement announcing the ministry’s plan to fill vacancies in the immigration department.
The announcement, which asked Nigerians to apply for the positions, was signed by Mr. Attahiru, as secretary and director of the board with the Minister as chairman of the Board.
Though the CG Immigration had said “I feel and request that the advertisement be withdrawn to allow for full consultation in order to avoid a repeat of the experiences of the past recruitment exercise,” it was not clear if he was speaking about averting stampede and deaths of applicants but that advice appeared to have been relegated to the back, a development that led to deaths and injuries to decades of applicants across the country.
However, the Special Assistant to the minister on Media, Mr. George Udoh, denied that the head of Immigration was sidelined in the ill-fated recruitment saying “there is no way the minister would sit down and take any decision on his own.”
He explained that any decision affecting the member services of the Board were always discussed at a meeting and that all stakeholders were usually carried along.
Efforts to get the views of the Public Relations Officer of the Immigration Service, Mr. Chukwuemeka Obuah, proved abortive.
Meanwhile, a former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili condemned the mass recruitment exercise as a huge scam used to defraud unemployed Nigerians, describing it as the most outdated and barbaric thing to do in a modern age of technological advancement.
While delivering a speech as the Guest Speaker during the Youth Empowerment Summit organised by Deeper Christian Life Ministry, yesterday, at the church’c Camp Ground in Ogun State, Ezekwesili said that over 40 percent of Nigerian youths were unemployed, noting that lack of creativity by the youths was partially responsible.
She advised the Federal Government to partner the communities and the private sector to create establishments that will help train Nigeria youths on how to use their knowledge and creativity to create wealth for themselves and also create jobs for others, with the General Overseer of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor W.F. Kumuyi also advising the over 100,000 youths in attendance to make the right decisions in life as to whether they wanted to be achievers or floaters.