Lagos - Interior Minister, Abba Moro, has accepted full responsibility for the death of 16 applicants at the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment exercise last month.
Addressing journalists, the minister said the incident was unfortunate and begged for forgiveness from affected families and Nigerians.
“Whatever outcome we got from this exercise, positive or negative, I am the minister and I take full responsibility for it. The deaths of these young Nigerians, who would have added value to the human resource of the country, is highly regrettable. I crave the highest level of understanding of every Nigerian. If we had foreseen these deaths, we would have stopped the exercise,” Moro said.
The minister said the recruitment exercise was organized with good intentions to afford every eligible citizen the opportunity to be employed.
“I want Nigerians to understand the motive and intention behind the entire process of an open and transparent exercise. This was the first of its kind in the ministry and it was intended primarily to give employment to Nigerians, irrespective of background and connections.”
He explained that after the botched exercise, intense preparations for a successful exercise in 2014 had commenced.
He said that the Recruitment Board of the ministry met many times and decisions about the procedures for conducting the exercise were taken.
There have been calls by nongovernmental organizations and pressure groups for the sack of the minister over the deaths of applicants last month.
The Immigration Service Board and other relevant agencies involved in the March 15 recruitment exercise have all blamed the minister for the tragedy.
– CAJ News
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