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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lessons from the Nigerian Immigration Service Recruitment by Stephanie Obi

Let me introduce to you, Stephanie Obi. She is an online marketing trainer. She teaches entrepreneurs how to market their businesses online. She shares helpful business development tips at

She's gracing our space today with her thoughts.



I really hate traffic.

You know how we do it in Lagos, before you go anywhere, you will calculate your moves to check that you don’t get into too much traffic (or you check @gidi_traffic's timeline). If you can’t avoid the traffic, you will just prepare your mind to sit down in the traffic, so that when it hits you, you would increase the volume of the radio station and chill.

So you can imagine my utmost despair when I hit the road on Saturday morning, to quickly rush somewhere and come back home on time only to see stand still traffic.

I did not even believe the traffic I had gotten into. I wished I could just turn back or in fact, disappear.

The road to the National Stadium was completely blocked, and it was causing so much traffic.


“What is happening?” I wondered aloud.

This was very unusual. How can there be traffic by 8am on a Saturday morning.

“Maybe there was an accident” I pondered.

I decided to take a different route to maneuver the traffic, and I was looking out for an accident scene, instead I kept seeing different people wearing white t-shirts and white shorts.

“Is there a tournament?” I quipped.

“How come I didn't notice any adverts? Who are all these people wearing white and white?”

I shrugged my shoulders and I forgot about it when I got to my destination, until a friend of mine updated her Blackberry display picture with a picture of tons of people wearing white and white at the National Stadium.

Apparently, the Nigerian Immigration Service was organizing a nationwide recruitment exercise on that Saturday and the National Stadium was one of the centers for the exam.

“Oh wow”, I thought.

“How are they going to write this exam at the National Stadium?”

“Can they control the crowd?” I asked no one in particular.

I went on Twitter and everybody was bashing the leadership of the Nigerian Immigration Service and saying that they should have used a computer based method to administer the exam.

I smiled as I read the tweets, as I thought to myself.

“Is it possible that nobody would have told the oga at the top that calling all the candidates to write an exam at the National Stadium was not the best way to handle the exam, and that they should try using a computer”

Of course not.

Somebody would have mentioned it, but the ogas did not listen.

Infact, I imagine the ogas eyeing the person that brought up the idea or accusing the person of wanting to “rig” the examination results. Lol.

I imagine him saying, “In my time, when I got the call to write the exam, I went to a hall with my fellow candidates, and we wrote the recruitment exam fair and square. I remember meeting my good friend, Ojukwu in that examination centre…the good old days”, as he recalls the story with nostalgia.

For the younger people, this makes no sense to us, why didn't they use the computer based system? Everybody has been asking.

Let me tell you what I think may have made the ogas resist the new idea.

Most times, we do the things we have always been doing, without considering the changing times. We do those things repeatedly because those things are called “experience”. We have become victims of habit. This is how it has always been done.

The Nigerian Immigration Service is not alone in this; a lot of people also do this.

Let me give you a practical example. As entrepreneurs, despite the changing environment and lifestyle of our customers, we still market our businesses the same way we have been doing it years before. Word of mouth, flyers and maybe adverts in some magazines. This is the way it has always been done. The internet has come with so many opportunities to market our business, but we ignore it because it is too complicated. It is not exactly what we are comfortable with. Despite the fact that a lot more people have smartphones and are accessing the internet every day, people are now googling things every instant, some spend a lot of time on social media; it has now become engrained into our lifestyle.

We ignore the trends and focus on working hard, doing what we know how to do best. The things we have gained from “experience”.

Change is difficult, I know. I understand completely, but a time will come, when people will look at you and wonder, “why are you not marketing your business online?”

It’s okay if you don’t know where to start from, like they say, “the journey of a thousand miles, begins with a step”.

Just make a decision to learn how to go about it, and take action.