A few weeks ago I was contacted sit in an interview panel for an international development agency. I was surprised they were hiring but was told the recruitment process started before the Covid-19 outbreak.

I knew that they had completed the shortlisting process and conducted online written test. The test was to ascertain the candidates writing and analytical skills as well as grasp of the subject matter. I participated in the grading of the papers. And I was shocked, totally flummoxed! I got paid for my work and forgot about the whole thing believing that the process died with COVID-19.

So I was surprised when I got an email asking if I would participate in the interviewing process via zoom ! They reduced the eligible candidates to fifteen and they needed five!

Each candidate was given the link and time to log in to be interviewed. I agreed to participate since that’s another additional income for me. But I also wanted this Organisation to get the best candidates for the job. The written test didn’t give me much joy and hope. I prayed the interview would be better.

Among the fifteen were five Nigerians. The rest came from other countries. My concern is with my fellow Nigerians. I heard all five didn’t make it when the total scores were collated. I knew without being told that the three ladies and two boys from Nigeria wouldn’t make it.

Keep sleeping with lecturers and keep watching bbnaija and group chatting and silly Nollywood movies with terrible contents and bad grammar.

One simple question my Nigerian brothers and sisters couldn’t answer was to name one book they have read since leaving school that dealt on this aspect of development! None ever read any book. None ever mentioned one. None even recognized prominent authors in this area when prodded further including naming the husband and wife that recently won the Nobel prize for their work in creating an “experimental approach to alleviating Global Poverty” in 2019.

None could even speak like an economist with understanding of poverty issues. Yet all of them possess MSc in Economics.

I am weeping. Let me go watch bbnaija jooor. After all, there are many ways of earring a living. Still I hold out hope for those other Nigerians who out from nowhere show amazing brilliance that sets the country apart.

Charles Chidi Achodo

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