Saturday, 23 June 2012

A Barbaric Experience- Attn: DG, NIMASA.

I feel sorry interrupting Project DONE but its necessitated from an on-going sickening trend i recently witnessed in our job seeking ociety. God willing, by mid-week, i return to Series Three of Project DONE. Apologies. 

"Good morning everybody now listen to me attentively, I won't say this more than twice!!! I want two straight lines!!! Two lines only, one for male the other female!!! File in a queue to enter the hall"- Team Leader, Renner & Renner Consulting aka "Mr Inappropriate" at the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island (NLS), venue for Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) recruitment screening exercise which held yesterday, 23rd June, 2012.

These were his initial words as he addressed over 7,500 people outdoor with no public address system. Here and without a doubt in my mind, I knew we were all in for a loooooooooong day.

I had never been to a screening process or written a test assessment for any public organisation before so when I was invited for one by NIMASA, I was quite glad and anxious. All paid or volunteer jobs I had ever done I can boldly say I got on merit. From my Intern days as an undergraduate till today, I never for once was lucky to be employed out of nepotism, tribalism, favouritism or the likes and to be honest, I preferred it this way. Every single job has come from self-application and merit. I establish that vacancies I apply for are tailored along my area of interest and if I happen to be invited during recruitment processes, step by step, I ensure I floor sessions with composure, knowledge and skills portrayal required of the job. So when I got the invite from NIMASA, I thought no different; immediately dusted, brushed and put on my recruitment tactics robe. Unknowingly, I couldn't have been any more ignorant!!! The recruitment process or rather its handler- Renner & Renner Consulting (and later on as I got to know) most public institutions, played by a different set of rules.

I had been advised the screening process would begin 8am but due to individual standards had decided to leave home 7am. The venue was a 15 minutes drive and I arrived about 7.14am. Since it was about 12 to 15 different office positions being screened for, I focused totally on searching for signs that would guide me to part of the premises in line with my proposed office knowing NLS had multiple auditoriums. I didn’t see any signage. I concluded I was quite early and conductors for the exercise upon arrival would sort us all out.

8 am, I was addressed with my introduction to this piece in the most inappropriate tone I had ever witnessed! The scuffling to forming a queue was ignited like a spark. Left to right, front to back, everyone was shoving and pushing each other mercilessly but some like myself paused, starred at the conductors and were really puzzled. Were these guys serious? Was this the way they planned on embarking on this screening exercise? Within minutes, several queues were formed. Arguments then began to which queue was to be formally recognised. The ambience of environment suddenly changed. The gathering turned into a barbaric community as reasons flew from north, south, east and west about which queue was to be recognised. The ranting went on for more than 15 minutes. Already agitated, Mr Inappropriate spoke again- " Listen, listen you people, if you don't obey simple instruction you would be thrown out of this premises. We are not responsible or would be held liable for the safety of anyone here. You better comport yourselves in the right manner because the screening process has already begun. From now on, if I notice you causing any trouble or acting in a disorderly manner I would deem you not fit for employment and no matter how much you scale pass different stages of this recruitment process, I would make sure you don't get employed." Everyone momentarily went silent. He looked back to his colleagues, muttering some words with them for another 3-5mins and then proceeded to the stair case entrance. He and his colleagues then said saying one after the other, we should proceed into the hall. Again, I asked myself- one after which other? Which queue goes first? How? There were over 7,500 people informally gathered and only two slim entrance doors. We all should what? Just like that? It was hell! The shoving and pushing began again. For over an hour, people literary continuously fought their way into the auditorium. I had never thought I would need wrestling skills and muscle competence for a formal job screening. By the time I managed to get in, all the seats were occupied. I was so drowned in sweat immediately, my long upheld ignorance turned to reason. I asked myself, what am I doing? Its very obvious that my ethical set of rules for sane recruitment processes which always won me jobs  was no way contextual in this insane case. I or even NIMASA would never truly get the results we both want. I was in a barbaric world.

The number of those standing inside the auditorium were twice the number of those seated  and those still outside struggling to gain entry were quadruple the number of us inside, both seated and standing. At this time I speculate we had doubled from 7,500 earlier on to over 15,000 participants both inside and outside. People were scattered in different clusters all around the exits and entrances of one hall trying to gain entry. Air-conditioning systems inside had only 5 out of about 12-15 of its units powered on. Conductors were screaming on participants who didn't have a seat to leave the auditorium. Initially, they resorted to physically blocking those still trying to gain access into the hall but later realised the danger they were vulnerable to and stopped blocking the entrance. All these 
while, the pushing and shoving continued. The situation was hopeless. The conductors seemed so incompetent and out of solutions; that's when I realised something about their identity cards. The identity cards hung around their necks were only from laminated paper. It had black bold inscriptions but was just laminated copies. It didn't look like a formal or admirable identity card at all. It looked so quickly and tentatively produced. Did Renner & Renner Consulting really have capable staff to handle this job? Or were most of these guys just locally outsourced incompetent staff? Two guys I saw didn't even have ID cards hung around their necks. They had a pocket size piece of paper with Renner & Renner Consulting boldly inscribed and pinned to the left side of their shirt breast pockets. As days roll by, the state Nigeria gradually turns into makes me feel so pissed and bitter. As I write this piece its more annoying.

There was no single sign of structure or organisation portrayed by Renner & Renner Consulting. From ambience creation, volume of participant invitation, image perception of staff, location, manner of approach, participants welfare, security consideration and most importantly- emergency health measure, not a single item deserved to be graded as fair. All would get poor as a mark if graded. Everything was so poor, incompetent and saddening. After a while, conductors began pleading with us to leave and allow those seated commence test assessment but without preference or structure consideration to how we would be given access into the auditorium back again if we left. Again, we all had to go through another round of physical and barbaric war. One could hear ladies screaming painfully during the second tussle. A lot gave up and came back out from the battle with ripped weaves and wigs, missing earrings and misplaced shoes. Blouses three hours earlier looking crisp and clean had dirty palm stamps and several buttons plucked off. During this wrestling exercise, a pregnant lady almost passed out. She was close to getting foot tramped if not for a guy and some ladies who hurriedly wrestled her out of the madness. After sometime, she was resuscitated with water and several newspaper fanners.

When I gained access into the auditorium for the second time, all conductors looked so confused and exhausted except for "Mr Inappropriate". He kept on screaming that those not seated should leave. He was so blinded to his incompetence and didn’t see anything so much wrong to how things were unfolding. It was a shameful and embarrassing observation even for me. The fact that he was not irritated by this further confirmed how we have adapted to rubbish in this country. Is this what our job seeking community pass through every time or was this just an unfortunate experience for me? Either or, why would such a respectable public institution and an apex regulator such as NIMASA outsource recruiting services to such a clumsy and inexpert recruiter? What processes determined the recruiting team that would enlist on behalf of NIMASA?  Did it thoroughly pass due process? Or was it fuelled through with favouritism and nepotism? 

Renner & Renner Consulting boasts to be continuously engaged in Organisation, Transformation, Human Resource and Management Training Consultants in Lagos, London and Berlin. I know the meaning of these words and it nowhere falls into their performance yesterday. If their performance yesterday is how they handle exercises in the countries they claim to be present, am very sure they should be out of business by now but still paying huge court fees and fines. I have gone through recruitment processes in England and opportune to work in their environment for quite a while. I can authoritatively say Renner & Renner Consulting with their performance yesterday could never smell a chance for such contract not to talk of get the job. Is Nigeria’s porous system an alibi for the un-structural and nonchalant character I witnessed Renner & Renner Consulting display yesterday? The standard to doing things the right way in this country seems to continually diminish. No one seems bothered anymore. How can we change this? How do we re-orientate our people for pits sake? It seems that due process, proper structure and reputable or respectable conduct hardly guarantees anything in Nigeria any longer. Informal, permeable and negative ways seems to be our methodology for survival. Would it have been too much to ask if Reener & Renner Consulting made my day, yesterday, by turning it out the following way.....

As I arrive NLS, I am easily ushered in by signage. No need for human resource personnel. I follow directions to the auditorium specifically reserved for those in line with my proposed office.  Upon arriving the designated auditorium, I'm welcomed by friendly conductors looking smart and tailoring queues. As they ensure quick and swift registration, they still uphold a tender ambience and environment through their respectful style and interactive manner of approach. He/she that leads the team is equipped with a megaphone and passes on general announcements required at necessary intervals. Even when expectation in participants' turnout is short-sighted and had been under-estimated, the leader of the team is seen flexible in processes and quickly expedites his team to group me and others into batches, allocating differing times during the day. As registration continues, more participants arrive building up long queues and changing the environments' ambience which can facilitate agitation and individual exhaustion. Aware of this, conductors are sound in mind to interact calmly with participants, urging them on nicely or offering light refreshments in likes of sweets, biscuits, water and juice to take away the natural focus on tiredness or stress which could trigger unfavourable and rude reactions away. Also present is security personnel. Not with guns raised high up to heaven instilling unnecessary fear, but security personnel simultaneously accelerating sensory perception which commands order for stubborn and troublesome participants as well as makes well mannered ones feel safe.

Immediately after individual registration, other participants and myself are allowed into the auditorium one after the other. Not by merited wrestling tactics or muscular strength but achieved through intellectual coordination and procedural organisation skills from the conductors. I then find myself seated comfortably either under-capacity or in a batch at capacity. Again am welcomed while seated in the auditorium and instructions are given for the screening process to formally begin. Screening done this way is even easier accessed and participants undergo written assessments while still of sound and not distressed or disoriented mind. Hereby, fully giving their very best.  Would this be too much to ask of Renner & Renner Consulting?

In conclusion, Renner & Renner Consulting should temporarily seize to exist until it re-structures its mode of operations. If it continues to do business like it did yesterday, it for sure is a big scam! The best candidates for the job under its supervision would never be picked. Their incompetent and outsourced staffs are the combination of poor organisational skills and a porous human resource network. Renner & Renner Consulting further showcases why Nigeria ends up having incompetent public servants. From poor and flawed recruiting processes, we end up having unqualified public officers squirting dumb public policies. I went for the NIMASA screening process as a job seeker and left a reporter. Renner & Renner Consulting so irritated me I just had to share this true story. Someone please, alert the Director-General of NIMASA, let him know the recruiting firm outsourcing his organisations' recruitment needs is highly incompetent and he would never get qualified or competent public servants to work with as long as they come from Renner & Renner Consulting. Someone please, until they repent, stop Renner & Renner Consulting from doing business!!!

Jide Alara.

Please feel compelled to share via the icons beneath and kindly leave your thoughts and comments. Sharing is caring. Thank you


  1. Jido, you did a fantastic job that awards commendation. My dear, the memos from my experience the LSH really makes me want to cry, at a point i tried looking at the faces of some candidates taking respite at the stairs and tears were flowing from my "inner eye". The steaming sadness in me was brightened when i noticed a lady crying and trying to wipe her face to hide from notice. The senerio at LSH last Saturday indicts NIMASA and their sham recruiter - Renner and Renner Consulting. Moreoever, i guess there are lots of unanswered questions about the staging of the whole event.Its is either it was all arranged to knockout candidates from SW and allow chance for those from you know where...?Or its just mere negligence and incompetence from NIMASA and Co. Let some tell this house before we start crying FOUL!!! just because and injustice done to one is an injustice to all.

  2. Thanks. Thats why we need to share this story as much as we can until it gets to someone who knows someone who knows someone that can get Patrick Akpobolokemi to reaad this. If indeed he wants to work with merited and competent public servants, he would at least make a statement in response to what we experienced saturday. Or might he be just from the same pack?

  3. My friend lamented of same experience. Nice report.

  4. Another test has been fixed for 14th of july @ Apapa, still handled by renner&renner.

    1. Why will ruiner&ruiner always choose an odd venue for their screening?, the other time it was Lekki, now it is faraway kirikiri @ Apapa, how will they expect someone who has made an unfruitful journey to Lekki a couple of wks ago to still travel down to Apapa, when no explanation, apology or whatsoever has been made. Even renner&renner website is not available.


Blog Archive