A WEAK STATE BEGETS WEAK INSTITUTIONS
Nigeria is by no means an unpopular member in the comity of states often characterised as a weak state. Her weak status is fast taking a new turn- a turn that is plausible to earning her a super trophy- a failed state gold medal. In Nigeria, aside corruption and inefficiency, nothing else works. Just like the Nigerian state, the institutions within it are receding while corruption and inefficiency are gaining continued ascendency.
A popular saying that has it that; no institution within a given state can develop more than what obtains in such state has just been put to yet another test in Nigeria. This test was conducted, the result released and the outcome proved the empirical soundness of this argument.
Evidently, the Nigerian immigration service is notable in the arena of institutions replicating the weak status of the superstructure that established it. Her very recent recruitment examination exercise that was held on 15th March, 2014 (an examination that never was) which ended as a debacle lends credible weight to this fact.
Through the March 15th event which resulted into the death of no fewer than 18 applicants; The Nigerian Immigration Service for not exercising the duty of care, displayed; criminal negligence, lack of organization and crass ineptitude in conducting a successful mass examination-an examination that was actually paid for by the applicants. One thousand naira, yes it was and yes a stipend, but many revolved their hope of getting jobs around the same stipend one thousand naira charged by NIS as application fee- a dashed hope as it later became apparent. By its ill-arranged recruitment exercise, the Nigerian Immigration Service rubbed the already lean pockets of the Nigerian unemployed/underemployed youths.
As it was gathered, no fewer than 520,000 candidates applied out of which only 4,556 are going to be employed. This staggering number of applicants is nothing but a reflection of unemployment/underemployment in the country. For 4,556 jobs; one would have expected a well meaning institution to embark on the sales of not more than 20,000 forms out of which credible 4,556 candidates would be taken (if at all selection is going to be based on merit) through a properly conducted examination and in a conducive atmosphere. It cannot then be a misnomer to plunge into the assertion that the ostensible reason for conducting the examination was nothing but to justify the money collected. But the question is; has it been justified? Or how can people be taken based on merit in an examination held in stadia across the country and what manner of exam is conducted in such an environment?
The recorded failure and loss resulting from the exercise was not unavoidable given the fact that the institution was not ill-informed about the number of people that applied. The use of stadia across the country goes to show that NIS was not uninformed about the number of applicants to be present at each recruitment venues. More so, sales of forms ended September 2013 and exam was conducted March 2014; meaning the NIS had ample time of not fewer than 5 months to properly plan and map out the recruitment exercise.
The avoidable stampede was because certain people didn’t do their job well. In developed clime, people like Abba Moro and David Parradang, (the Interior Minister and the Comptroller General of NIS respectively) need not be told that the termination of their appointment was imminent. Until we start engaging People in position of authority aggressively and intellectually; until we start asking relevant questions, we are doomed to remain where we are.
The Nigerian crisis has gone beyond lamentation. We need to take our own destinies into our own hands. Rather than acting as class-in-itself (class of people who only complain about the existing situation but refuse to do something about it), we need to start acting as class-for-itself (class of people who do not only complain but also ready to change the status quo).
A WEAK STATE BEGETS WEAK INSTITUTIONS