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National Intelligence Agency not offering employment through this online call

5 mins read

Claim: A viral message circulating WhatsApp has been urging Nigerians to apply for the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Recruitment via a portal.

The information circulating on WhatsApp that the NIA is now recruiting, via a certain portal, is misleading, as verification has revealed that the recruitment process of the Intelligence Agency is secretive.

Full Text

Nigeria’s unemployment rate surged to 33%, second highest on global List in March 2021, according to Bloomberg. This development has grossly contributed to fake employment notifications in the country.

Recently a viral post on WhatsApp claims the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) is currently open for employment.

The forward-as-received message attempts to direct readers to this portal and a particular email address. The message reads:

“NIA Recruitment 2021/2022 Application

Form Login Portal

NIA – National Intelligence Agency Recru… news-af.feednews.com

NIA Recruitment 2021/2022 Application Form Login Portal – Opera News Official

https://newsaf.feednews.com/news/detail/f9579ab7a4ff1a628074ab9187528db2news_entry_id=6261168d210718en_ng&news_id= f9579ab7a4ff1a628074ab9187528db2&country=ng&language=en”

Screenshot of the forward as received message

Since Dubawa has seen similar Job offers that have been used  to mislead unsuspecting members of the society for fraudulent  reasons, it triggered the urge to verify the credibility of the information. 

Verification

Dubawa clicked the provided portal link, and it opened a new website, a page that urged interested candidates to apply by filling a form and sending their CVs to a certain email address.

Screenshot of the website

Underneath the requirements list, another website was given for interested candidates, it reads “How to Apply for NIA Recruitment 2021

www.nationalintelligenceagency.gov.ng

Click on Job vacacies

Create your profile

and start your application”

So Dubawa clicked on the new link, which redirected this fact checker to another website.

Screenshot of the new website

Dubawa observed that the new website has the same information as the previous website. It is obvious the site was not the NIA website.

Screenshot of the link

It also observed the spelling and grammatical errors, vacancies is spelt “vacacies.”

This fact checker figured out there was no real portal for the job registration because it keeps redirecting Dubawa to similar websites.

How does the National Intelligence Agency recruit?

The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) is a Nigerian government division tasked with overseeing foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations formed in

June 5, 1986.

The Nigeria Head of State then, Ibrahim Babangida, issued in June 1986 Decree Number 19, dissolving the NSO and restructuring Nigeria’s security services into three separate organizations under the Office of the Coordinator of National Security. 

The new National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was responsible for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence. This reorganization followed a formal investigation of the NSO by former director Umaru Shinkafi.

Dubawa contacted a security expert, the Managing Director, Agent-X Security Ltd,  Timothy O. Avele, for clarification on the recruitment procedure for special security agencies like the NIA, and he said Intelligence agencies worldwide and in Nigeria such as the NIA are always committed to hiring exceptional talent for a variety of career opportunities that span the globe to help support their mission. 

“The majority of their hiring is done at the entry-level (in-country) through invitation-only hiring events; however, vacancies may be posted for mid- and senior-level positions as mission dictates, but unlike the police and other security agencies including the military, intelligence agencies, recruitment are mostly done in secrecy for obvious reasons and in the case of Nigeria, a federal character principle that must be followed. Of course political interference (who you know) is a Nigerian factor to be considered too. Once a prospective candidate is invited to interview and receives a conditional job offer, he or she must be granted a security clearance before the hiring process can be finalized” he said.

Avele added “The government considers many factors when granting security clearances, including citizenship, drug use, medical and personal integrity and conduct.

All candidates for this kind of recruitment must be Nigerian citizens and are subject to a thorough background inquiry and any required medical examinations.”

The Recruitment Process of Intelligence Agents (Spies) by Intelligence Agencies

Entry-level (in-country) hiring for mid and senior-level positions may be posted but not in the usual way the police and the military advertise their  positions.

The second category of employment, that is the intelligence agents or spies is done in total secrecy. It’s never posted for any reason and If the candidate has been selected or is invited to a hiring event, he or she  will receive correspondence from the NIA

Avele said the term spy refers to human agents that are recruited by Intelligence officer (professionally called case officer) of an intelligence agency, like NIA, whose primary responsibility is gathering and processing of foreign intelligence on both friendly and hostile nations, including non-state actors.

“The process is not advertised. Recruiting process typically begins with “spotting.” Spotting is the identification of targeted people who appear to have access to information, or are attractive for some support role,” he said.

“This individual may be “developed” (as in case of foreign university students studying in Nigeria or any other country or foreign businessmen) over a period of time before the approach is made or it could be made”cold. “

“Alternatively, the potential agent may approach the agency; many intelligence assets were not recruited but were “walk-ins” or “write-ins” who offered information to foreign intelligence services” Avele added.

He said background research is conducted on the potential agent to identify any ties to a foreign intelligence agency, select the most promising candidates and appropriate method of approach. 

Conclusion

The information circulating on WhatsApp that the NIA is now recruiting, via a certain portal, is misleading, as verification has revealed that the recruitment process of the Intelligence Agency is secretive.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the 2021 Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship partnership with JAY 101.9 FM Jos to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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