Unfairness in Nigerian job seeking process
Job selection in Nigeria

 

Nigeria economic giant of Africa?

It is a fact that Nigeria is one of the richest nations in the world, at least in its abundance of natural resources. Indeed it was recorded that in the sixties, without  crude oil, the sub-saharan country was still striving well so much that its erstwhile colonial masters only had to leave due to international pressure that colonialism was becoming unpopular particularly by Britain who had strongly participated in the Second World War and a lead campaigner of the principle of freedom for all. 

The discovery of crude oil, and the fortunes that came with it was a huge plus for the country. However, the sudden neglect of all other sources of revenue and huge focus on crude oil as its main source of revenue was the beginning of the country’s dilemma. coupled with a fall in the global oil price has triggered the country’s economic crisis. 

Unemployment rate in Nigeria

According to the National bureau statistics report on unemployment and underemployment, as of 2018, the unemployment rate was 23.1%. Millions of graduates enter the labour market annually while unemployment rate keeps accumulating over the years. 

According to a jobberman survey, about 47% of university graduates are unemployed in Africa’s largest economy. Although the problem is attributed to  the quality of university education in Nigeria, the problem is more than that.

Long leg required to get a job in Nigeria

There are limited job positions in the country and oftentimes those limited opportunities are already occupied by the popular saying ‘’people with long legs’’ meaning connected people. This has been a great issue in the Nigerian recruitment system. For example, in  the recently concluded NDLEA interview, people had to struggle to do interviews, climbing the window so as to have access to the interview while some are sitting at home peacefully expecting their appointment letter. 

In every rumour, there’s an iota of truth. There was an appointment letter that went viral, when Federal road safety applicants were still undergoing interview. Although it was declared void by the parastatal,  it indicates some lapses in the system. 

Often times, thousands of people are invited for an interview, while only a few hundred were needed. These few needed for the job comes with a recommendation from a top government official. According to a friend who went for an interview, ‘’ He was asked who brought you here” Ignorantly he said no one, he was then asked to stay in a separate place. He observed that when others were asked the same question, most of them brought out a letter or mentioned the name of a top government official. That was the end of that job for him. This sounds funny but true.

Job buying, a new term in job hunting

Another great problem affecting the number of job availability in Nigeria is the issue of Job buying. Some believed fulfilling job requirements can be a stressful exercise.  i.e job application, exams, interviews e.t.c and like the famous adage, ‘’ Money enhances the propagation of the gospel’’ Once the money is available they pay and buy the job. 

Recently a friend wrote an exam in a well known parastater. She wasn’t called for an interview after the exam. She discussed with the staff of the organisation that she answered the questions correctly because they are cheap questions. He replied by saying ‘’It’s not all about answering the questions correctly, it’s about the people you know’’ At that moment she kept quiet and let it go.

Another important aspect to note about job recruitment is the hurdles people go through to fulfil the job requirement process for the job that has been set aside for a  few people with little space left for others. In past years, some died in the process of trying to do an interview. Often times, some government officials lobby for jobs for their families, which made the position basically not by merit but by the people you know. Having said all this, there are still some organisations that are more concerned about what you can offer, your skills, merit,  etc. However they are few.

To reduce these problems policies must be put in place to checkmate and combat the menace. Independent bodies must be set up with policies and fairness to combat the issues. For a country to  work effectively, peace, justice and a strong institution is needed to combat injustice in all sectors.

The economy should be diversified. Nigeria has left it’s inheritance and the major reason for its economic growth in the 60s. Agricultural sector should be re visited. Agriculture was our pride, the discovery of oil made us neglect that sector. However, oil can no longer sustain our economy because the world is gradually changing with the development of new technologies and initiative i.e Shale oil among others, there’s a need to revisit agriculture. 

Be an entrepreneur create your own job

There’s also a need for entrepreneurship development in Nigeria. Nigeria’s high population growth rate can’t guarantee a job for every youth. For instance,  two graduates of my school came begging one of our lecturers for a job. He told both of them to go home to think over what they love doing best and come with a report/proposal.

 The first guy said he loves pets i.e dogs while the other one said he loves farming. As generous as the man could be he gave both of them capital to start up a business. The first guy invested in (ugwu) vegetable plantation. The other one in dog breeding,  within a year these guys are cashing out and they do not bother looking for a job anymore. 

Have you experienced any of the issues discussed in this article?   Please comment below.

 

13 thought on “How fair is the job application process in Nigeria – Most jobs have chosen candidates before the job is advertised. What do you think?”
  1. Well said. In Nigeria, most of the job vacancies available already have “their own candidates” to fit in, regardless of the tiring and long recruitment process.

    However, a very few organizations and companies follow due process.
    The rate of unemployment is high in Nigeria. In recent times, people are venturing into entrepreneurship. Without doubt, entrepreneurship is a very good option but we must also note that everyone cannot be successful in business. All achievement and earned riches have their beginning in an idea. Discover yourself first, know what works for you, be passionate about it and develop it.

    In addition, develop a skill that will earn you huge money and give you the opportunity of making great impact in your locality and across the globe. If the government cannot help you, you can always help yourself! , most of the job vacancies available already have their own candidates to employ, regardless of the tiring and long recruitment process.

    However, a very few organizations and companies follow due process.
    The rate of unemployment is high in Nigeria. In recent times, people are venturing into entrepreneurship.

    Without doubt, entrepreneurship is a very good option but we must also note that everyone cannot be successful in business.
    All achievement and earned riches have their beginning in an idea. Discover yourself first, know what works for you, be passionate about it and develop it.

    In addition, invest in yourself massively, build up a positive mentality and develop a skill that will earn you huge money and give you the opportunity of making great impact in your locality and across the globe. If the government cannot help you, you can always help yourself!

  2. Well said Olaoluwa. What you said about entrepreneurship is  very good. The challenges for most people is finding the capital or  a niche that is not already over saturated.

  3. There is virtually no job in this Nigeria that U would get without knowing someone there if u don’t know anyone I will rather beg U to forget it…infact u don’t even need interview in some instances as long as u know who u should know

  4. The article is well articulated. Words like long Leg, lobby: ‘if you no get mouth’ keep quiet like one of the examples the writer gave.

    It’s not just a Nigeria thing, it cuts across the world but it’s more pronounced in Africa

    We’re told that Senior secondary school certificate holders had variety of job opportunities in the 80s let alone scholars.

    Combating the menace
    Its a topic one can keep discussing, ‘the way forward is the koko’

    The world system is actually in a state of what you can offer and the reality is yet to get dawn on Nigerians most especially the graduate.

    Our greatest challenge is likened to call system, where we have a Caller and a receiver:

    Our government has failed us by not enacting on all our laws, that’s the caller.

    And the receiver is the masses, who have failed to put their mind work.

    Most developed countries, individuals created jobs neglecting the government, let’s emulate that and by so doing, we can correct and dictate to our government.

    Like the writer made us to understand, capital isn’t the reason why we are not entrepreneurs but our refusal to be accountable, to sit in an isolated zone to think.

  5. Thanks for your comment Otitoju. You’re right, this issue cuts across the world but pronounced in Africa. We hope there’s a change to this menace someday.

  6. Well said Oluwaseun, we hope this trend stops and job selection should be based on merit not who you know.

  7. Since my experiences with people in corporate Nigeria has been a bit different, I cannot totally agree. I seriously agree with those who say that many Nigerian graduates have little technical skills and employability capacity. It may not entirely be the fault of the graduates as our university education system appears to be deeply flawed. The truth is that the corporate world is usually far ahead in their operations beyond an average graduate’s knowledge or skills. This is something we the graduates can fix. Its only the Nigerian parastatals and ministries that give away jobs just to mop up unemployment. The private corporate world will not employ you just for that, they want someone who is skilled enough to add value. So I agree that the long leg concept exists, and the graduates are way more than the available jobs, but there is a part to play for young Nigerians. Take internships while in school, volunteer and build your Work experience. Learn how the corporate world works before graduation. That is how we can help ourselves.

    Whether we admit it or not, random people without any long leg are getting jobs in corporate Nigeria everyday. We need to also ask ourselves what we can do differently.

  8. Dear Ms Olatunji,
    I completely agree with absolutely everything you said in your comment. Some graduate seem to think, the fact that they have sat and passed exams in University, thy are automatically entitled to a job. There is a hug disconnect between most of the stuff you learn at Uni and the work place any way.

    Just one thing I will like to trow in the ring is the fact that the government (Federal,State and local) are the largest employers in Nigeria, please correct me if I am wrong. That is why the default when conversations like this crops up is to just focus on the government and forget about the private sector.

  9. It’s very unfortunate that we have found ourselves in this situation in this part of the world, Nigerians are so corrupt that nothing seems to be working here. This days most of the government jobs are being given to the children of the elite or being sold at a very high price. The worst thing is, it’s getting worst by the day and no modalities in place to control this menace. May God help us.

  10. Thank you for hitting it right on the head Nuhu, Nigeria Youth should not be discouraged by the way, they should acquire relevant skills that will make them valuable in the contemporary world.

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