Posted by News Express | 20 December 2015 | 5,921 times
Our recruitment into the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has recently generated a lot of heat but, regrettably, no light. There has been a stifling power tussle among the stakeholders. But, sadly, the victims have continued to be the unemployed Nigerian youths. A clear and not too remote example is the 2014 recruitment stampede.
On August 20, 2015 after three months of induction, 2,000 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 this is saddening. Suffice to say that the youths have never expected the government to solve all the problems and challenges of its teeming young and unemployed people, 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, if only the doors of opportunities remain open to all.
However, in the past two months, those responsible for our plight have chosen to ignore our agonies and pains, and this has necessitated that we narrate our ordeal 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. Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission (Chairman)
2. Permanent Secretary (General Services) OSGF
3. Comptroller-General of Immigration
4. Representative of the Inspector-General of Police
5. Representative of the D-G, Department of State Services
6. Representative of the Corps Marshal, FRSC
7. Representative of the Commandant-General, Civil Defence Corps
8. Representative of the Comptroller-General of Prisons
9. Representative of the Attorney-General of the Federation
10. Representative of D-G, Federal Character Commission
11. Representative of the Head of Service.
The then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, issued and signed the following terms of reference for the committee:
i. To liaise with the board, to confirm the actual number of personnel to be recruited
ii. To assist the board by advertising the recruitment with a view to starting the process afresh
iii. To assist the board by processing the application, short-listing of potential applicants and conducting necessary interviews for the purpose of the recruitment exercise
iv. 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
v. 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
vi. 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 some national dailies. A copy of this advertisement is herein attached for your perusal.
It consisted of a rigorous recruitment process started with a computer-based aptitude test, written in centres across Nigeria. The test was supervised by officers from the Nigeria Prisons Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigeria Immigration Service and Nigeria Police. 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 in compliance with the principle of federal character. 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. The appointment letters have not been sent till date. A copy of the these documents are herein attached for your perusal.
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 lashes of the whip from 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 jobs for this offer. And most unfortunate was the fact that we lost a recruit during this period of induction training.
It is therefore disheartening to see that despite the fact that we have kept 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. This situation has accounted for untold woes in the lives of our parents, most of who now take blood pressure medications to steady themselves and stay alive. We are 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 the two months of suspension, we have gone through a lot of psychological trauma. This period, in all honesty, has re-emphasised 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 the 2000 youths - but has deepened the angst and popular belief that the Nigerian youth cannot live a decent life within the shores of their fatherland.
It is ironic that despite 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, nothing has been done to recall these young, vibrant and technology-savvy recruits full of 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.
Above all, we got the 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 Nigerian youths. And most importantly, we are the future of this great nation. We hereby solicit your help to ensure:
1. Reversal of our dispersal order
2. Issuance of appointment letters to the 400 assistant superintendent 2 officers
3. Reinstatement and integration of the 2,000 newly-recruited officers into the Nigerian Immigration Service.
Finally, we would like to ask the government to have faith in our simple dreams; dreams that are no less characterised by the desire and zeal to labour and toil for the betterment of this country. We shall act where our predecessors have dithered. We shall succeed where our predecessors have faltered. We shall bring the elements of change into the Nigerian Immigration Service. We shall fight as vanguards, to conquer the many ills plaguing the service. We shall follow and leave behind exemplary records, learn from the mistakes of our predecessors and lay a solid and sustainable foundation for our successors. We shall strive to promote the image of our dear nation, both home and abroad. This is our Nigerian dream, help us preserve it. Attached are pictures of events in various commands during the induction ceremony
•Recruited, Trained and Dispersed NIS Officers. Photo shows Minister of the Interior, retired Gen. Dambazau.
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