About 800,000 graduates have submitted applications to the Independent National Electoral Commission seeking to be employed to fill only 1,500 available job slots in the commission, competent sources told Daily Trust in Abuja.
INEC placed vacancy advertisements in newspapers on November 19, inviting applications for the positions of legal officers, system analysts, architects, engineers, estate officers and registration area officers on grade levels 07, 08 and 09.
Only applicants with first degrees, Higher National Diplomas and National Certificate of Education (NCE) were invited to submit applications, but an official at the commission told Daily Trust that a number of PhD and master's degree holders also applied.
The official said INEC was alarmed by the huge inflow of applications into its website, as well as the calibre of applicants, some of whom are clearly "over qualified" for the jobs they applied for.
"In the first week alone, we had about 300,000 applications. We were alarmed," the official said.
"In fact there are PhD holders among the applicants; some of them have two master's degrees. That is a reflection of the job situation in the country."
He also disclosed that INEC contracted the recruitment exercise to a consultant, NEXIR, which is expected to sort out the applications and invite only 8,000 applicants for examination. That translates into just 1,000 out of every 100,000 applicants.
From the 8,000 who sit for the examinations, the consultant has been mandated to recommend 3,000 candidates to the commission which will then select 1,500 out of the number to fill the available vacancies.
When asked to give details of what number applied for each position, the source said he could not because everything had been turned to the consultant to commence sorting out the applications.
"The IT department has collated all the applications (which were submitted online) and handed them to the consultant. And I am sure that some, especially those with PhD and master's degrees, will be screened out because they are over qualified. Don't forget that the positions advertised are entry points into the civil service," he said.
Daily Trust also learnt that the recruitment is expected to be concluded this month because it is captured in the 2012 budget.
"The recruitment was captured in the 2012 budget so it has to be concluded this December," the source said, adding that the commission will consult the Federal Character Commission and the Presidency before the final recruitment.