The Federal Government had, on Wednesday, June 8, announced, through the office of the vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the registration of 500,000 unemployed youths to be employed as teachers.
The registration, through a crafted online portal, according to the announcement, would commence on Sunday.
The portal for the recruitment exercise was given as ‘www.npower.gov.ng.’ According to the Federal Government, the programme is designed to help young Nigerians acquire and develop life-long skills to become solution providers in their community and to become players in the domestic and global markets.
The announcement came at a time when there was increasing call on the APC led government to quickly start implementing the various Social Investment Programmes which it promised during the electioneering campaigns. Before then, the masses were being overwhelmed by, and groaning in extremely hardships.
What appeared to be painstaking preparations for the exercise, many Nigerians thought it would be hitch-free. But so far, the exercise is being executed so poorly that its planning is also being questioned.
Indeed, the registration platform has continued to experience unabated breakdown even as the jobless Nigerians are wasting monies on the process without success.
Added to their frustration was the recent announcement of the successful registration of about 500, 000 applicants by the Presidency via the online platform despite the obvious hitches. This of course, raises suspicion on the exercise.
A cyber-cafe owner who identified himself as Michael said that since the registration portal was launched on Sunday, the duration of hours the website opened and processed could not have received the kind of applicants the Presidency government announced.
He said that he has been monitoring the site 24/7 and that sometimes, the website is not accessible for 24 hours not to talk of processing any application.
He said that the figures quoted by the Presidency could either be bots or bogus, meaning that they were uploaded through the back-door.
Also, an applicant who identified himself as Chinedu, said that since the launching of the portal on Sunday, he has been running from one cyber-cafe to another to register but couldn’t, even after spending about N2,000 in the centres. He complained of frequent breakdown of the website. He suspected that the registration might have been skewed to favour certain sections of the country.
A website developer, Shaibu, however, dispelled the insinuation about the manipulation of the registration exercise, adding that the breakdown of the portal might be caused by huge traffic from applicants. He said that though, the Open Source framework (WordPress) used for the portal was not the best for this type of important website. He blamed the developers who recommended and are using such framework. He explained that the Open Source framework like ‘WordPress’ has so many security breach and can easily develop problems when receiving a huge traffic as it cannot handle too many database quarries or high traffic. This is because multiple script that process within the framework core files and server, especially when multiple ‘Plugins’ (extensions) are used.
Shaibu therefore, advised the government to quickly look into the problem and fix it as many Nigerians are yet to register.
A young artisan, who identified himself as Abdullahi called on the Federal Government to extend the period of registration exercise and provide a mechanism for people in the rural communities that have no access to internet to register. He said that the government should have conducted this recruitment through the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) platform which cut across all the Local governments in the country.
As Nigerians are anxiously waiting to see the outcome of the much talked about exercise; an exercise that will define the readiness of this government to sincerely run social Investment programme, it is imperative for the government to urgently investigate the actual cause of the breach in the registration platform so as to resolve the suspicions it has generated amongst Nigerians. [myad]