Even the blind would have anticipated a keenly competitive pre-selection process for the over 2.5m young Nigerians that applied for the 2017 N-Power Graduate programme. Just a year earlier, only 350,000 applied for 200,000 job slots, only for the number to skyrocket beyond projections this year. This can be adduced to the transparency of the 2016 recruitment and renewed public confidence in the programme. Therefore, it is expected that quite a lot will be dissatisfied with the 2017 shortlist, not because the process isn’t fair but because a whooping 2.2m won’t make the pre-selection!
It will be easier for the proverbial camel to pass through a needle than for one to make the lucky 300,000. Applicants should have prepared their minds for this considering their sheer size. So N-Power tried to feel the pulse of applicants on its facebook page (Npower) by throwing a challenge tagged #NPowerChallenge to pre-selected applicants to tell the public if they knew anyone before they were shortlisted. This is quite necessary to correct the false notion of bias or favouritism being peddled in certain quarters by those that didn’t make it.
Expectedly, palpable excitement rent the air among the pre-selected. See a few of their comments;
Ali Sunday wrote, “I knew no one. That is why I believe Nigeria is heading in the right direction. N-Power is a proof of that! May God continue to bless the N-Power team”. Salami Dadfawazz Sulaiman added a hilarious twist to the challenge, “I was selected but I won’t lie to you, I knew someone before the selection, and that is no one than the Almighty Allah #Alhamdulilah_Always. Trust Nigerians, you can’t beat their ingenuity. It is quite certain that not a few pessimists would have had their eyes pop out when he stated rather sarcastically “I knew someone before the selection”. It would have been a perfect alibi to rubbish the integrity of the process but of course, that ended in disappointment.
Chimiele Paul took his ecstasy to a new high when he stated, “I knew no one, I think N-Power should conduct elections in Nigeria because you guys are so free and fair. Thank you for pre-selecting me!” Giving N-Power the job of INEC? Wawu! Who says Nigerians can’t be appreciative of little gestures? Indeed, the era of nothing good can come out of government is fast fading away with this administration. This is corroborated by Onyeka Gerald’s testimony:
“During the 2016 application, I refused to apply because I had that whack mentality that I did not have anyone to help me secure a position. My eyes cleared when all my friends who applied got selected despite not knowing anyone and I regretted it. Fast-forward to 2017, my brother just applied and went about his normal business, and behold he got preselected, his friend too. Let those not preselected not think the selection process was influenced, just because it did not favour them”. Great things are happening before our very eyes. When citizens begin to vouch for government or its programme in this manner, then we should know the country is gradually being sanitised. Impunity of the past has given way to respect for due process.
Then the disappointed vented their frustrations thus, Adeyemo Segun Ismail fired this salvo, “What are the criteria used in preselecting people? Is it random, qualification or test score? I don’t see any reason why I should not be selected. This pre-selection is not fair, not transparent, not uniformed if they could not choose up to 20 people in a Local government. If we can see our scores and the reason we were not preselected, I would be happy”.
As if on cue to rein in dissenting voices, Abdulmajid Dayo assumed the position of chief whip, hear him: “I don’t know what the fuss is all about. Over 2.5m applied, only 300,000 was preselected. There must be complaints from those that couldn’t make it, that is normal. I must be sincere, I know more than 5 that were preselected. Two N-Agro, 4 N-Teach, the only person they know is Almighty God”. It can’t be more aptly put. No matter how ingenious or novel the selection process is, the fact remains that an overwhelming majority won’t make the shortlist!
While it is natural for those that didn’t make it to be downcast, it is the height of irresponsibility to question the pre-selection process without any iota of proof to back allegations of malfeasance. N-Power as the signature job creation and empowerment scheme of the present administration is committed to the principles of fairness and equal opportunity for all Nigerians which President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo stands for. That’s why the programme is spread across the 36 States and F.C.T, inclusive of both those who voted for this government and against it.
N-Power is the signature job creation and empowerment scheme of the Buhari administration.