The Nigerian Immigration service recruitment exercise that was carried out on the 15th of March 2014 resulted in the death of certain unemployed Nigerian youths, our so called leaders of tomorrow. This carnage would have been avoided by simple planning. It was clear for all to see that sufficient effort was not put into the planning of the recruitment exercise. The organizers of this excercise failed woefully and as a result, lives were lost. Due to the public outcry as a result of the loss of lives, the Nigerian Government sprung into action by promising the families of the dead victims and the injured ones automatic employment into the Nigerian immigration service. In my opinion, this was so wrong on so many levels because first of all, it took the death of applicants for the Nigerian Government to realise the kind of stress unemployed youths have to go through to get jobs. I am not convinced they realise how much stress unemployed youmanagableths go through to get jobs and I feel they expect us to accept this stress because we are youths. Secondly, the Government have made a farce of our immigration service by giving the relatives of the dead youths and the other injured youths automatic job placements. Basically, the Government has implied by this action that anybody can do the job of an immigration officer no matter how rigorous or dangerous it turns out to be. There is no sense of accomplishment derived from getting a job in that manner and the integrity of our immigration service has been tarnished by the fact that literarily anybody can do the job of an immigration officer.

I don’t claim to be an expert on the matter, but I will attempt to go through some basic steps that I came up with and believe could have been applied to the recruitment excercise to prevent the carnage of 15th march, 2014.

– First of all, no applicant should be made to pay a fee to apply for any position in a Government or private institution. It is embarrasing that a Government institution like the Nigerian Immigration service exploited unemployed Nigerian youths by getting them to pay N1000 before they were allowed to proceed with the application.
– The Nigerian immigration service would publish different positions and minimum application requirements for such positions on their website.
– Applicants who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised positions would then apply online.

Due to the volume of expected applications, a separate website with unlimited bandwidth should be used for the duration of the recruitment exercise. This is to prevent the Nigerian Immigration Service’s official website from experiencing issues as a result of the traffic expected by the application process.

After going through the numerous applications made by the applicants, the HR department of the Immigration service or the contractors handling the recruitment exercise would now have enough information required to plan for the physical and aptitude test. Due to the volume of applicants and the fact that there is a physical test required together with the aptitude test, I think there should be a separate week for the physical test and a separate week for the aptitude test. From the information gathered, the HR department or the contractors would know the amount of the successful applicants and the unsuccessful ones. Out of courtesy, an Email should be sent to all unsuccessful applicants at this stage. An initial verification of the candidates should be carried out using the documents provided on-line but after the recruitment exercise, a final verification of the applicants’ document should be carried out. Document verification should not be carried out at the Test centres as it would cause unnecessary delays. For the purpose of this article, let us assume that there are 10000 successful applicants in each state in Nigeria. The 10000 successful applicants in each state would then be broken down into 10 smaller manageable groups of 1000 applicants. The next step would be to plan for the venues and the logistics officers that can successfully manage 1000 applicants. So, in a particular venue, 20 logistics officers can handle 1000 applicants by managing 50 applicants each, but to be on the safe side, 30 logistics officers should be assigned to each venue. I believe the Immigration service can find 10 locations in each state that can handle 1000 applicants comfortably. The logistic officers would then be broken down into groups of four officers and assigned colour codes resulting in five colour groups. Each group deals with 200 applicants. At the venue, each colour groups would have different camps identified clearly by their colours. Each colour group then gathers their applicants to their designated physical test and sitting positions. The logistics officers are going to be clearly identified by their coloured tops and huge lanyards.

Once the venues and the logistics officers have been sorted out, the next step would be to send out test invitations. The successful applicants would then be sent an Email advising them of the venue and time for their physical and aptitude tests. This Email should be sent 2 weeks before the actual test day so as to give the applicants enough time to locate their venues and familiarise themselves with it. The two weeks notice period also gives the Immigration service enough time to sort out any issues with logistics and planning. The Email should contain the following information:


Applicant’s Unique number: ABJ-STD-RED-0001
Applicant’s Name: Okey Chima
Venue: Abuja Stadium
Time: The test starts 12 PM prompt
Colour code: RED
Venue Information: Look for the camp with your colour code and go to that section. There will be visible pointers and logistics officers to direct you.

Applicant’s are advised to attend the premises with their writing materials (Pencil and eraser) at least 2 hours before the test begins so as to locate their seats on time. No applicants will be allowed in the venue after 11:45 am.

At the venue on the D-DAY, the logistic officers would be clearly identified by their coloured tops and huge lanyards. They would usher the applicants to their designated seats and I dare say they would be very customer friendly and treat the applicants like customers. The logistic officers would also share, invigilate and collect the test papers once the exercise is over.

The cost of carrying out such an exercise is always going to be expensive but I believe the Nigerian Immigration Service has enough resources to successfully implement this exercise. The cost of hiring logistic officers could be reduced or even eliminated by using actual immigration officers.

The tragedy that was experienced by unemployed Nigerian youths on the 15th of March, 2014 could have been prevented if such a plan as the one explained in this article was carried out. I dare say this low level plan would have been stress free for the applicants involved. Of-course, there are more sophisticated plans that could have been applied successfully but it was clear to see that insufficient effort was put into the planning of the recruitment exercise. The sad events of 15th March 2014 has embarrassed our country Nigeria in the eyes of other countries. But what is even more shocking is the fact that no one has been held accountable. At the very least, the Comptroller General of Immigration Service or the Minister of Interior should have resigned their positions on shame. but I am afraid, this is the Nigeria in which we live in today.

okey chima