Dambazau SIGNAL

Immigration Recruitment Saga: 2,000 Recruits Protest in Abuja

A group representing 2,000 recruits into the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in 2015 who have undergone three months induction training exercise but were suspended, has pleaded with the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau to reinstate them.

The leader of the group,  while speaking with the Press during a peaceful protest at the Ministry of Interior on Monday to convey their dismay over their dismissal, said they have not received any official communication from the government since they were asked to go home last year August.

He noted that all the applicants passed through the rigorous but transparent process of recruitment and were selected based on merit, lamenting that they were suspended because they were seen as commoners who doent have anyone in the corridors of power to fight their course.

It would be recalled that after the fatal recruitment exercise conducted by the then Minister of Interior, Abba Moro in 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan constituted a committee to carry out a fresh recruitment process.

Out of the 48, 747 candidates shortlisted, 2000 (400 Assistant Superintendent of Immigration ASI, 700 Assistant Inspector of Immigration and 900 Immigration Assistants) were selected after a computer-based test and 1600 of them got their appointment letters before training. The 400 ASI were awaiting the arrival of theirs when the directive to terminate the process was issued.

Ojigbe said: “These young recruits, parents, families and sympathizers have waited aimlessly for over eight months … without any form of pronouncement from the Nigeria Immigration Service, Ministry of Interior, CDFIPB and other government sources.

“While we waited patiently for an official memo in view of our plight, the CDFIPB, Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Services went ahead to recruit over 2000 personnel secretly who are presently in the various training institutions without considering us.

“This, we see as a move akin to replacing us. We are, therefore, at the Ministry to demand our immediate resumption.”

One of the protesters, Memunat Mustapha said she had to resign her appointment as a teacher to take up the Immigration appointment, stressing that the school refused to take her back when the NIS recruitment process was terminated.

She said she had to borrow money from friends to take care of her needs during the training period as they were not paid any allowance while in training camp.

Another member of the group Maureen Twar who was employed as an Assistant Superintendent of Immigration said they were made to buy the complete gear of the Service during the training period.

Among other requests, the group asked to be recalled to duty, directed the issuance of appointment letter to the 400 Assistant Superintendent of Immigration and payment of the salary arrears of all the dispersed recruits.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Mr Bassey Akpanyung who spoke through his Special Assistant Felix Okonkwo promised to look into the case and address it accordingly.

“All issues relating to your grievances will be sorted out and everybody will be happy,” he promised them.

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