Some unscrupulous persons are on the prowl, taking advantage of the growing unemployment rate in the country to extort money from unsuspecting Nigerians through dubious and fake employment offers.
Investigations revealed that the number of fake employment agents is growing by the day, even as many innocent youths that are desperately in search for jobs fall prey.
The current economic recession has worsened the situation, because for graduates and non-graduates, jobs are becoming more elusive, just as more and more job scammers have sprung up online, and in offices, parading themselves as genuine employers or recruitment agencies.
Already, many organisations in the public and private sectors, including banks, oil companies and ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), and even foreign agencies, every now and then publish paid adverts to warn unsuspecting applicants against falling prey, noting that they will advertise vacancies in their various establishments.
The fake agents reap job seekers of their hard earned money charging between N10, 000 to N300, 000 based on the agreement and nature of the fictitious job.
These illegal job agents are trending on corruption, and their activities further trigger aggressiveness in the able and willing youths, who may resort to gambling, fraud, and other social vices or become a menace to the economy.
Figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that unemployment rate stood at a staggering 12.1 per cent as of March 2016, this is up from 10.5 per cent in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2015.
The President, Human Capital Providers Association of Nigeria (HuCaPan), Neye Enemigin, said: “Some group of persons extort money from job seekers, promising to secure employment for them.
“This is very rampant when government agencies are recruiting. These extortionists are either insiders (employees of the recruiting organisation) or outsiders, who have or claim to have connections at the top echelon of the organisation.”
Enemigin identified quackery, also known to be ‘scamming’ as one of the major challenges to human resources development in Nigeria.
He advised job seekers to go through job sites created for job searches in Nigeria, rather than getting flyers along the roads.
Meanwhile, due to the tendency for the unemployed to take to crime and criminal activities, a report by NOIPolls suggested that the creation of more employment opportunities, especially for the youths, would help in the fight against crime in general in Nigeria.
Experts believe that such inactivity has triggered aggressiveness in youths, currently seeking shortcuts to make ends meet, thereby constituting a threat to the society.