Have you ever asked yourself where and how they recruit civil servants in Nigeria? Like where do they get this special breed of people that work in our civil service at all levels? Have they always been like this or it’s working for the Federal/State/Local Government that changed them?
I had to do my National ID card because Ecobank plc blocked my account (Please don’t ask why I have an account with Ecobank). So I went to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) office. And when I got there at 9am, the door was still locked. I asked around and was around and I was advised to return between 10-11. Apparently they do not resume earlier than that. I had other things to do so I left. I returned at 1pm, met a woman in the office, and she said ‘we have closed, come back next week’ without even looking at me. As if people have nothing doing other than just waiting at home to register for National ID. Anyway, I finally met them at the office one day and registered. While the woman was filling the form, she wrote that I was un-employed. So I told her,” I am not unemployed Ma.” She said “what do you mean you are not un-employed, where are you working?”
(I was wearing my NYSC uniform) “You think NYSC is work?” She left it at un-employed.
I had wanted to register for this National ID card at home in Warri, but I was spending less than 48 hours so I wanted it immediately. I was told “if you want am today na five tasand o!,” so It can be ready but then I had to pay in advance. I wasn’t ready to do that.
Back in the University, it was better, way better to have an F in a course, than to have a problem that required the attention of a non-academic staff. For them to write receipts, to do the simplest things is a problem.
During my final clearance, I had to leave Lagos, travel ten hours back to school to look for my file, because the non-academic staff in charge of files couldn’t be bothered. He kept saying he couldn’t find it. I found it in the stack of files in less than five minutes.
You expect that because this is Lagos things will be better, but same ol, same ol. All of them cut from the same cloth. From local government staff to state government and health workers working in government-owned hospitals, they are all the same because there is no one to hold them accountable?
As a child one of our neighbours taught in a government school and her favourite saying was ‘dem no dey carry government work for head’ she went to school when she liked, gave scripts to neighbourhood children to mark.
Last week, I had to do my monthly NYSC clearance, the women in charge strolled in by 11 am, we were seated waiting as from 9am. When they came, it did not occur to them to apologise, they strolled in like 11 am was when they were supposed to resume their duties, their welcoming address was ‘look at them, it is time to sign for money they are here’. It took them another 30 minutes for them to settle in. I left around 1 am, the clearance itself was less than five minutes.
Next time we are wondering what is wrong with Nigeria, think of the civil service.