March 17. You know how a company will put out an extravagant ad for job seekers even though they have just a few jobs to offer. Or they may have no jobs at all and want to build up a cache of applications “just in case”. The Nigerian government did this in spades over the weekend inviting 65,000 people to apply for 5,000 positions. They told job seekers to come to a giant stadium in Abuja. The stadium held only 60,000. Once it was filled desperate job seekers tried to force their way, in. (There are 41 million unemployed in Nigeria.) The result was panic and a stampede and at least seven deaths.
Interior Minister Abba Moro said the unemployed workers were responsible. He said they “lost their lives through their impatience”.
Nigeria has enormous amounts of oil and the “growth” figures for the economy are supposedly 6%. This has not amounted to many jobs.
On the other hand Nigerian Folorunsho Alakija is the richest woman in the world. “She returned to Nigeria shortly afterwards [1980’s] to start Supreme Stitches, a premium Nigerian fashion label that catered exclusively to upscale clientele, including Maryam Babangida, the wife of Nigeria’s former military President Ibrahim Babangida. Leveraging on this proximity to power, she acquired an oil prospecting license – the basis of her enormous fortune today.”