Hypocritical criticism of shady recruitment
Over the past few months there have been scandalous revelations of shady public recruitment exercises in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and perhaps a few other government agencies. Though each of the three scandals was widely condemned, the revelations weren’t surprising, after all, for they simply rehighlighted how federal government institutions systematically flout due process in staff recruitment exercises, which is equally rampant at the state and local government levels as well.
I, for one, actually found the avalanche of criticism against the government officials involved more surprising instead, as it sounded too passionate as though the scandals had unfolded in Norway, for instance, not
Nigeria. In any case, no one denies the fact that public recruitment exercise in Nigeria is most of the time, if not always, shady due to the deep-rooted culture of nepotism in the country. This is especially in recruitment exercises into major revenue generating government agencies, departments and other major government bodies e.g. the aforementioned three and, of course, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiaries, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and its subsidiaries etc.
Besides, though this practice is often condemned by all, the reality maintains that so many Nigerians are direct, indirect or potential beneficiaries of its persistence. For instance, there is hardly any civil servant at the federal, state or local government level that doesn’t owe appointment to a benefactor(s) who had one way or another manipulated or influenced the recruitment process in his favour at the expense of many more competent but unprivileged hence shortchanged Nigerians out there struggling with persistent unemployment or stuck in grossly less rewarding jobs compared to their skills and qualifications.
Also, thanks to the prevailing culture of impunity in the country, those involved in shady public recruitment practices who are, of course, largely senior civil servants and their accomplices among politicians, and the lobbyists for the beneficiaries who are mostly traditional title holders, statesmen, retired politicians, religious clerics and other influential public figures don’t only get away with it, but do, in fact, gain unearned further recognition in their respective communities and constituencies, which boosts the political advantage of the active politicians among them and improves the prospects of the active civil servants among them nursing the ambition of joining politics in the future.
After all, people also have a bad habit of glorifying or vilifying serving or retired senior civil servants, politicians and other public figures based on, among other things, their respective records in securing government jobs for their respective chosen candidates through shady public sector recruitment exercises. Therefore, knowing how people’s verdict on them in this regard would always improve or jeopardize their prospects of success or failure in their respective current or future endeavours, such government officials and politicians are always eager to perpetrate any illegality as long as it will fetch them unearned and indeed grossly misplaced recognition.
Meanwhile, as almost every jobseeker turns to his benefactor(s) or looks for one to help him land one of the sought-after jobs in one of such leading revenue generating government agencies, it becomes increasingly difficult even among the well-connected candidates themselves to land one.
Meanwhile, as unprivileged jobseekers continue to hugely outnumber the available job vacancies in the country, thanks to the successive governments’ failure to achieve economic growth proportionate enough to accommodate and keep pace with the growing number of jobseekers in the country, even jobs that were relatively easy to get in the past are now extremely difficult for such unprivileged candidates to secure as the recruitment exercises into them becomes increasingly shady, which makes it
Also, thanks to the prevailing culture of impunity in the country, those involved in shady public recruitment practices who are, of course, largely senior civil servants and their accomplices among politicians, and the lobbyists for the beneficiaries who are mostly traditional title holders, statesmen, retired politicians, religious clerics Worse still, the federal government has ignored calls to probe deep into the recent three recruitment scandals despite the sheer weight of the credible allegations of the involvement of some top government officials in them
increasingly difficult, if not practically impossible, for them to secure jobs.
It’s absolutely obvious therefore that many, if not most of, Nigerians who reacted to the recent public recruitment scandals couldn’t actually claim any moral high ground in condemning shady recruitment practices and criticizing the government officials and other individuals involved. Worse still, the federal government has ignored calls to probe deep into the recent three recruitment scandals despite the sheer weight of the credible allegations of the involvement of some top government officials in them.
Needless to say, this is not only worrisome, but it also gives some credence to the allegations of bias in government’s anticorruption approach, as it also steadily erodes public confidence in its commitment to tackle the culture of nepotism in the country.