Some lawyers and human rights activists in Lagos on Saturday decried the collection of N1,000 application fee from job seekers by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the payment of N1, 000 to obtain application form in its ongoing recruitment exercise violates the applicant’s rights.
The Minister of Interior, Mr Abba Moro, had on Oct. 25 said that the payment by applicants seeking employment through online into NIS and other parastatals was to reduce the cost of processing applications.
The minister said that the consulting firm in charge of the recruitment had the backing of the ministry to charge N1, 000 on the advice of the Federal Character Commission.
Mr Onyekachi Ubani, the Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, said that collection of money from applicants by some government agencies was not proper.
“These are hapless human beings looking for employment which is not even there in the first place.
“It is a dubious practice because all the applicants are not guaranteed of employment, even after making the payments.
“The NBA condemns it because it is not a good policy,” he said.
A human rights lawyer, Mr Bamidele Aturu, said that the policy was “atrocious, repressive and indefensible”.
“How can you do that when Section 16 of the Constitution clearly states that the security and welfare of the people is the primary function of government?
“So, if government is collecting money from young Nigerians seeking for employment, the private sector will be encouraged to implement such policies,” Aturu said.
He said that it was a known fact that youth unemployment was responsible for the spate of insecurity and other criminal activities in the country.
Also, Mr Chino Obiagwu, the National Coordinator, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), a human rights group, said that the collection of money from applicants was exploitative.
“The applicants have the right to apply for job in a public institution and anybody who collects money from them under any guise, should be prosecuted,” Obiagwu said.
In his comment, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, the Executive Director, Socioeconomic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), said that his organisation and other rights groups, might sue the NIS over the policy.