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S4C Files FOI Request on Job Creation Statistics 

Spaces for Change (S4C) has filed a request to inspect public records and statistics of jobs created in Nigeria between 2011 – 2013 to the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the National Bureau of Statistics and the Office of the Chief Economic  Adviser to the President. 

In a statement signed by the Executive Director, Ms. Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri,  S4C says it is requesting to inspect or obtain copies and public records of the official statistics regarding the number of jobs created in Nigeria between 2011 – 2013 in addition to copies of enabling policies, executed and ongoing projects and programmes for bolstering job creation and youth employment.

The aim of the request according to the group is to independently verify the methodology, measures and figures employed in generating the statistical data of jobs created within the specified timeframe.

In his 2014 New Year message, President Goodluck Jonathan had claimed his government’s policies had been responsible for the creation of about 1.6 million jobs in 2013.

“Our national budget for 2014 which is now before the National Assembly is specifically targeted at job creation and inclusive growth,” President Jonathan had said. “We are keenly aware that in spite of the estimated 1.6 million new jobs created across the country in the past 12 months as a result of our actions and policies, more jobs are still needed to support our growing population. Our economic priorities will be stability and equitable growth, building on the diverse sectors of our economy.”

The group expressed worries over the rate of unemployment especially among the youth population in Nigeria. It made reference to the tragic aptitude test conducted by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in which more than 15 persons died.

“The overwhelming population of unemployed and under-employed Nigerians that took part in that NIS examination propelled us to interrogate the official statistical data of 1.6 million jobs  that have been reportedly created in the last 12-24 months in Nigeria,” the statement added. 

Official records released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2011, and that of the National Bureau of Nigeria (NBN) in 2012 disclosed that the youth unemployment rate was 41.6 per cent and 54 per cent, respectively. 


Immigration Recruitment Tragedy: Eminent Nigerians demand sack of Minister Abba Moro

Following the deaths of about 20 people across the country during Saturday’s job recruitment exercise by the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS; several Nigerians have called for the dismissal of Abba Moro, Nigeria’s Interior Minister.

Their petition, issued Sunday, also called for the dismissal of David Parradang, the Comptroller-General of Immigration, as well as the criminal prosecution of the duo for involuntary homicide.

The petition was signed by Chidi Odinkalu, Chairman of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission; Nasir El-Rufai, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory; Ayo Obe, lawyer and human rights activist; Bashir Tofa, former Presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention; Aliyu Modibbo, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Teritory and 57 others.

“The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and the Inspector-General of Police together with the Director-General of State Security, should launch a joint criminal investigation into the deaths of these job seekers,” the statement said.

“An independent audit should immediately be instituted into the monies made by the Ministry and the NIS from the job seekers and criminal investigations should be commenced as appropriate,” it added.

On Saturday, stampedes at various centres of the NIS recruitment exercise across the country led to the death of many of the job seekers, including pregnant mothers.

In Abuja alone, seven job applicants lost their lives during a stampede at the overcrowded 60,000 capacity Abuja National Stadium.

Only 4,556 vacancies were advertised by the NIS, but 520,000 applicants registered to write the recruitment test. Each applicant was required to pay a N1,000 processing fee to be eligible to participate.

A PREMIUM TIMES report estimated that the NIS made at least N520 million from this compulsory levy imposed on applicants.

The extortion of the job seekers was done in flagrant disregard of the directive by the House of Representatives that government agency should desist from charging applicants taking part in recruitment exercises.

However, in his reaction to Saturday’s tragedy, Mr. Moro attributed the deaths to the applicants’ “impatience.”

“The applicants lost their lives due to impatience; they did not follow the laid down procedures spelt out to them before the exercise,” Mr. Moro had said.

“Many of them jumped through the fences of affected centres and did not conduct themselves in an orderly manner to make the exercise a smooth one,” Mr. Moro had added.
Mr. Moro’s comment sparked anger across Nigeria on Sunday with many citizens taking to social media to call for his immediate sack.

The statement from these eminent Nigerians appears a response to that call.
The petitioners described Mr. Moro’s reaction as “a callous disregard for the lives of Nigerians” incompatible with his office.

“This tragedy was needless, foreseeable, and avoidable. The failures of the Ministry of the Interior and NIS to adequately manage the process and safeguard the safety and security of the job seekers is inexcusable.

“The deaths that resulted from these failures, therefore, were unlawful. If the lives of Nigerians mean anything, the leadership and management teams in the Ministry of the Interior and the NIS must be held to account for these deaths,” the petitioner said in their statement.

“The effort by the Minister responsible for citizenship in Nigeria to blame the victims rather than take responsibility shows a callous disregard for the lives of Nigerians incompatible with his high Ministerial brief. It brings public service into disrepute,” it added.

Among those who signed the statement were former Presidential candidate for the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) Bashir Othman Tofa and the Chairman of National Human Rights Council, Chidi Odinkalu,  Novelist Lola Shoneyin, Lawyer Ayo Obe and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria,  Yemi Candide-Johnson.

Others are: Ayesha Imam, Jibrin Ibrahim, Ishyaku Mohammed, Olusegun Adeniyi, Hussaini Abdu, Femi Edun,  Abubakar Siddique Mohammed, Abba Kyari, Kole Shettima, Maryam Uwais, Ebere Onwudiwe, Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, Yusuf Tuggar, Tajudeen Fola Adeola, Waziri Adio, Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, Iniruo Wills, Yunusa Yau, Nasir Ladan, Jeremy Weate, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri of Spaces for Change and many others

Culled from Premium Times

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