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Edo State.

Not less than 500 job seekers in Edo State have been swindled of about N10 million by a consulting firm claiming to be recruiting environmental officials for the Edo State government.

The firm known as KAI Environment operates from Bins Hotel along Ekenwan Road in Oredo local government area. The state had opened an Edo jobs portal where unemployed young people are registering with the intention of creating a pool to engage young people for employment.

But investigation showed that job seekers are made to pay N2,000 for registration, N2,000 for handouts during training and N15,000 for uniforms.

It was gathered that a first batch of 150 persons have already concluded training and waiting to be dispatched to their place of work.

One Franklyn Nwachukwu who said he is a disciplinary officer of the firm told journalists yesterday that his boss was recruiting youths with the permission of the state government through the Ministry of Environment and Sustainability.

He said their target is to recruit 500 persons across the state and they would be made to write examination as well as undergo physical fitness.

He claimed officials of the Ministry of Environment and officials of the Federal Roads Safety Corps were there to talk to the recruits.

But ministry officials claim the firm’s proposal to Governor Godwin Obaseki was sent to them for further discussion. “We are still talking but we were surprised to hear that they are recruiting people and collecting money”, an official in the ministry said.

When contacted, Edo State Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Omoua Alonge Oni-Okpaku, said the firm was carrying out illegal and criminal recruitment exercise. She said the firm has no approval from the state government to recruit for it.

This is coming just as the fate of young graduates to secure jobs after tertiary education is hanging on the balance as many daily fall prey to fake recruiters/employers who end up extorting the jobseekers.

Narrating his ordeal to The Guardian, a graduate of Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti who studied Computer Science, Mr. Olabanji Joseph, said: “When we came for the interview at Ibadan. They told us to pay N12,000 for employment letter.

I paid only to find out that they are fake. Their modus operandi is to get emails of applicant online and begin to send them phony invite.”

Joseph is not alone in this time bomb waiting to explode if nothing is done to nip it in the bud.

Mr. Ubah Ekeh Peters, a Mass Communication graduate also fell victim. He said an organization sent a job interview invite to him.

On reaching the venue, he got to know that the job was to sell a fake product.

According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), out of a total active labour force of 85.08 million people in Nigeria, about 16 million were unemployed in the third quarter of 2017.



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