The Nigeria Customs Service And Its Delayed Recruitment Exercise 

It was probably the recent disclaimer by the Nigeria Customs Service that reminded Nigerians (except those who applied for recruitment) that the Service had been mute about the exercise.

We recall that earlier in the year, the Nigeria Customs Service called for applications from qualified Nigerian youths into different cadres in the service.

The whole exercise lasted between April and May, and by the end of the exercise, the Nigeria Customs Service disclosed that 524,315 applicants have successfully completed their application process in the exercise meant to recruit just 3,200 personnel.

Out of the 524,315 applications, 278, 582 applicants were for the Superintendent cadre while the remaining applicants completed the process for Inspectorate and Customs Assistant cadres. In all, a total of people 828,333 registered 

According to the breakdown, 800 officers are to be recruited into the Superintendent Cadre, while 2,400 are to fill that of Customs Inspector and Customs Assistant Cadre.

It is about seven months after the recruitment portal closed, yet there have been no words from the service about the exercise, it has been so quiet that many have even forgotten that the exercise ever took place.

Customs has neither given any update nor said anything about giving employment to anyone.

Shortly after the recruitment portal was shut, the spokesperson of the service said that, “what is going on presently is screening, which is being done electronically because we have parameters that have already been keyed into the system.” After that statement, no one has heard anything from the service.

The persistent noise that we have been hearing is that of scammers wanting to take advantage of the protracted recruitment exercise, to dupe unsuspecting Nigerians.

It is either the Service is warning Nigerians to be on the lookout for fraudulent and non-existing employment that internet fraudsters are offering, or it is raising alarm that scammers had compromised its website and online presence.

The Nigeria Customs stated that the ‘recruitment websites and/or platforms are fake and should not be patronized’.

It recalled that it denied several similar fake vacancies advertisement in the past and promised to properly inform the public whenever it is ready to do so again.

It promised to let successfully short-listed candidates know through their email addresses and telephone numbers if they qualify for its recruitment schemes or not.

Like the one above, there had been several alarms over the activities of job scammers, so much so that it is beginning to appear as if the Nigeria Customs Service is only raising false alarm. 

It does appear like the Nigeria Customs Service is bidding for time, or just shifting attention from its prolonged recruitment exercise.

All said, the delay in the recruitment is becoming alarming and unjustifiable. In previous exercise, there was no use of IT, but how does one understand or appreciate that the current one, which is being conducted electronically is faced with delays?  

In May, the Customs spokesperson had explained that IT was being deployed and that “the system will weed out all these parameters that have been filled in and then bring out those whose documentation are directly relevant to the position advertised. When that is done, that would be the shortlist.”

It is fact that recruitment into the Service has never been transparent, it has never passed integrity test, and it has always been used to ‘settle’ certain interests. The perpetrators of the scam are usually from within the service, of course, they do this with collaborators and beneficiaries from outside the service.

We stand to be corrected, that many serving management, senior and mid-level and ‘politically’ relevant officers either have their children, siblings and relations in the service. The service also gives slots to politicians and relevant political office holders.

Recruitments into the public service in Nigeria have always been fraught with irregularities. Therefore, one may not be surprised about what is going on with regards to recruitment into the Nigeria Customs Service.

It is now glaring that what is delaying the exercise is not the widely mouthed electronically conducted process. We make bold to say and we will want to be proven wrong that what is the delaying the exercise is human interference.

It laughable that the Nigeria Customs Service is ridiculing itself with the delay in releasing the names of successful candidates seven months after the exercise was concluded.

It is this delay that, scammers are taking advantage of to dupe unsuspecting Nigerians. To stop this, we appeal to the Nigeria Customs Service to immediately release the names of successful candidates.