There is uneasiness brewing among the staff of the Nigerian Immigration Service following cancellation of promotion examination, without explanation.
The cancellation which is generating bad blood within the rank and file of Service is seen by many of the staff as an act of corruption by the top hierarchy of the Service, and it is capable of dampening the moral of staff.
Recall, the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammad Babandede, had on August 24 said the earlier dismissed 2000 Immigration recruits, who were employed through presidential directive in 2015, were to to be re-screened before they could re-absorbed into the service.
The Comptroller General used the press briefing to also said the promotion exam earlier conducted for its officers was also cancelled.
He had insisted that the service will conduct new promotion exam scheduled to begin on 29th August, 2016 at the NIS headquarters, Abuja.
The Street Journal learnt that earlier a computer based test (CBT) promotion examination was conducted for the senior cadre. In the exam, many officers from particular part of the country were said to have failed woefully with many scoring as low as 10 marks over 70, while some even scored below that.
However, few weeks after the result was released, it was gathered, the management suddenly cancelled it. The staff were not told of any reason for the cancellation, they were only told that a new date for another examination would be communicated to them.
According to a staff, who explained the circumstances leading to the cancellation of the first exam said: “It was the first time that CBT will be introduced to write promotion exam, I am sure many were not serious in learning how to use the computer, especially people from a particular section of the country. They believe they have godfathers, whether they write or not they will be promoted.
“On the day of exam some were even drunk, others came late and all sorts of indiscipline you are not expected to find in a paramilitary like the Immigration. All the same, after the exam was conducted by the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) and the result released, it was glaring our brothers from a particular section of the country did not prepare for it or did not take it serious. Some scored as low as 10, 4 marks over 70.
“Merely looking at the result you would know that it was in favour of a section of the country. And if the result was used for promotion, no doubt it would be of advantage to them.
“But somehow a circular came later that the result was cancelled. There was no explanation to why it was cancelled or rescheduled. We were just told to prepare for another one, which we did last Friday, August 26.
“I must say many of us were not happy about the situation because we feel cheated obviously because we are not from that part of the country. It is a pity that a section of the country still feels it is their birth right to occupy certain positions, that is too bad.
“In the first exam I scored 34 over 70, what if I fail this one now, that means I will not get my promotion this year”, he said bitterly.
It was gathered that since the present Comptroller-General, came on board few months ago nepotism and arbitrariness have suddenly returned to the Service.
Ethnicity has become heightened once more and all sorts of irregularities are becoming the order of the day.
Also, it was learnt there is a systematic side lining of staff who are not disposed to worshipping others but loyal and dedicated.
Deliberately, they are posted out of relevance, where they will be useless, with junior officers taking over the work of senior officers.
“Presently certain positions are reserved for certain people, no matter how qualified you are, if you are not from that part of the country you can’t occupy such position.
“In fact, I must tell you there is frustration in the Service right now; many of us who are not from that part of the country are been frustrated and given no role to play at all. They just push you to one corner and leave you there.
“Can you imagine at present that Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSDC) earn more than us? Find out. An officer in the same rank with me in NSDC earns more than me, it is no joke. Despite we generate lot of money for the country, we don’t have good salary. That is an irony.
“These are some of the anomalies in the Service at present”, the source said.
The Public Relations officer of the Service, King Ekpedeme, denied that the was any promotion exam, saying only the new recruits were being re-screened.