Corruption and Recruitment of the Unemployed
The issue of corruption and its twin brother bribery, has continued to protrude their monsteric heads in all spheres of life, most importantly in the area of employment. To begin with, it is the aspiration of parents of university, polytechnic etc, graduates that their wards get a well paid and decent job after the completion of their National Youths Service corps programme. Regrettably, the wish, hope and expectations of many a parents and their wards are more often than not dashed, no thanks to the corruption infested leadership of this country.
This writer was shocked to the bone marrow when he witnessed colossal turnout of applicants, who came to undertake Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps'(NSCDC) job interview at the state capital of Imo state, Owerri last year December. I was surprised because I thought not too many will be interested to work as an officer of (NSCDC). The level I placed a paramilitary organization known as Man O' War was also the same position I regarded the Nigeria Security and Civil Denfence Corps to be. I bothered myself with the question; why are people so much interested in NSCDC job?
First, unemployment has now reached an alarming stage that one can apply for vacancies hitherto overlooked by many in the past. Second, majority of applicants want a Federal Government job that will ensure that they get paid (pension) after their retirement.
While over thirty-seven thousand applicants applied for just less than four thousand job vacancies in the NSCDC, the question is; how will the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps provide five thousand jobs assuming they (5,000 applicants) were successful in their job interview which is more than the number of job vacancies available? According to a confidential officer of the corps, when asked the time names of successful applicants will be shortlisted and released. This was his reply: I don't know but have you followed it up to Abuja? Which means that it is only those that have impregnable connection to who is who in NSCDC in Abuja as well as the financial backbone to bribe their way in, are in a better position to have their names shortlisted. Quite regrettable, the kind of country we live in.
As it is in NSCDC, so also it is in the Nigeria Immigration service, State Security Service, Nigerian Air Force and others when it comes to bribing one's in or out. When will the placement of job applicants be based on merit and success and not on cutting corners? When will indigent job applicants in Nigeria secure employment without being frustrated after many years of job hunt by those who know who is who in high places?
The above state of affairs is a factor that has compelled a few unemployed persons to engage in life of crime. They are readily accessible by the political class who use them to advance their inordinate political ambition during electioneering. A handful of politically motivated assassination, though most times played down on by cops, is traceable to unemployment. The stuffing and snatching of ballot boxes by youths is also linked to joblessness.
This trend needs to be reversed by all concerned. I have always looked at existence from an optimistic viewpoint, but what is going on as concerned the subject of this piece (corruption and recruitment of the unemployed) makes me wonder whether the much touted war on corruption as well as rebranding of Nigeria will be won. It is therefore essential to give merit and success a chance in the recruitment of the unemployed, without allowing those who calls the shots to use their positions to favour those who greased their palms heavily or those who are related to them.
My God free Nigeria from this virus – Corruption which has become obstinate and endemic even with presence of an anti-virus agency – EFCC.
Nwaorgu Faustinus Chilee, a socio-political commentator, writes from Igboeche, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.