At least 10 job seekers died earlier Saturday while many more sustained varying degrees of injury during a stampede at the National Stadium in Abuja, the venue of a recruitment test by the Nigeria Immigrations Service (NIS).

Several thousands of job-seekers thronged the stadium to take the test, but Immigration officials made available only one entrance to the 60,000-capacity stadium. An applicant who turned back after seeing the crowd said it was clear that the applicants were more than 60,000.

At least 40 of the injured were admitted at the National Hospital in Abuja, a source at the hospital said, adding that several others were referred to other hospitals due to lack of capacity to admit and treat all those injured. A source at the hospital said he expected the death toll to rise.

The recruitment exercise also went on in all other states of the federation. At the National Stadium, Surulere — venue of the Lagos recruitment exercise — an applicant told SaharaReporters that prospective job-seekers present on Saturday morning far outnumbered the 45,000 capacity of the stadium.

“I can tell you that more than 100,000 people came for this test,” he said. “I have never seen this kind of crowd before in my life. Even if this was a FIFA World Cup football match, you will never get these many spectators.”

The huge crowds at the various recruitment centers all over Nigeria were not a strange development, considering Nigeria’s unimpressive unemployment statistics.

In 2011, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) put the country’s unemployment rate at 23.9%. However, industry analysts believe that not only is the true unemployment figure far higher but that the rise in the rate of unemployment over the last three years has been deliberately underestimated by the Nigerian government to paint a rosy picture of economic recovery.

Abuja — the Federal Capital territory (FCT) venue of the ongoing recruitment test by the Nigeria Immigrations Service (NIS).

Several thousands of job-seekers thronged the stadium to write the test but only one entrance to the 60,000-capacity stadium was made available. An applicant who turned back after seeing the crowd said there was no way the applicants would not have been more than 60,000.

At least 40 of those who were injured were admitted at the National Hospital in Abuja, a source at the hospital said, adding that several others were referred to other hospitals due to lack of capacity to admit and treat all those injured.

The recruitment exercise is also ongoing in all other states of the federation. At the National Stadium, Surulere — venue of the Lagos recruitment exercise — an applicant told SaharaReporters that prospective job-seekers present on Saturday far outnumbered the 45,000 capacity of the stadium.

“I can tell you that more than 100,000 people came for this test”, he said. “I have never seen this kind of crowd before in my life. Even if this was a FIFA World Cup football match, you will never get spectators this many”.

The crowd at the various recruitment centers all over Nigeria is  actually not a strange development, considering Nigeria’s unimpressive unemployment statistics.

In 2011, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) put the country’s unemployment rate at 23.9% , but observers believe that not only is the true figure far higher, the rise in the rate of unemployment over the last three years has been underestimated to paint a rosy picture economic recovery by the Nigerian government.

 

You may also like

Read Next