At least 15 Nigerians involved in job stampedes were killed in four different cities over the weekend. On March 17, Bloomberg reported that the National Immigration Service was "conducting aptitude tests to recruit new officers" when these stampedes broke out, claiming several lives and injuring plenty more. People in the country really want jobs and with only 4,500 positions available, people rushed in to take the test, thus causing the stampedes.
"'Young people are desperate to get work,' Shamsudeen Yusuf, Program Officer at the Centre for Democracy and Development research group" (via Bloomberg). Seven people died in Abuja, five in Port Harcourt, two in Minna, and one in Benin City.
The Nigerians in the job stampedes know about poverty all too well and having a job is very important to them. According to a poll published in 2012, 61.2% of people in Nigeria were living on $1.00 a day in 2010. Holding these tests in order for people to "apply" for jobs has been controversial because previously the same sort of thing happened and eight people lost their lives looking for work (in 2008). Their testing in 2012 wasn't without incident either.
According to the report, over 522,000 applicants paid 1,000-naira (about $6) to take this test. With only 4,500 jobs available, you can probably see why people were so eager to take the test -- also, $6 is money for the week for many families in the region.
Nigerians in job stampedes have caused the government to reevaluate their immigration recruitment tests. Check out the video above for more.
© Effie Orfanides 2014