By Elizabeth Chukwuma
Aware of the criticisms that had trailed recruitment exercise into the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, over the years, Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and the Customs Comptroller General has promised to ‘’preside over a recruitment process in the Service that will be credible, transparent and smooth from the beginning to the end’’. Take for instance the 2009 recruitment process conducted by Abdullahi Dikko, a former Customs Comptroller General which was said to have dragged on to 2015 in order to satisfy various interests, particular, the National Assembly members .
The Value news learnt that after the 2009 official recruitment approved by then Presidnt Goodluck Jonathan , there other secret recruitment exercises conducted in 2011, 2012 and 2015, for alleged Candidates of the National Assembly members, top government officials both at the state and Federal level . Top Customs officials were said to have seen it as an opportunity to slot in their own Candidates, who made the list. Ali, the retired Army Colonel Customs Comptroller General may be difficult to manipulate by the Lawmakers
He may have been forced to speak outabout the planned recruitment in the service because of the several attempts by internet fraudsters to hack into the Customs system last year. An unhappy Customs Comptroller General had expressed his dismay over the attitude of the internet fraudsters to discredit his efforts and reputation which he had gained over the years as a Career military officer who has held several key military positions and also served as a for Military Administrator in Kaduna state.
The Customs Comptroller General was said to have assured the Candidates who had applied for placement in the Service last year that there is nothing to worry about as it is going to a level playing field for all. Joseph Atta, a Deputy Comptroller and Customs Spokesperson may have spoken the mind of the Customs Comptroller General when he warned Candidates who are so desperate to get the job to be careful to avoid playing into the hand of dupers .
‘’NCS recruitment process requires no monetary payment ‘’, he had said. Appealing to the Candidates to ignore any such request from any quarter described as ‘’ fraudulent’’ ,he stated that those shortlisted would be contacted through their email addresses and telephone numbers. He is right.
Given an insider information, Atta disclosed that 828,333 Candidates had applied for the Customs job, but noted that ‘’after a painstaking shortlisting process , a total of 62,399 scaled the hurdle. There are indications that the shortlisted Candidates have been notified. This is evident going by the Customs Spokesperson recent Statement that ‘’all those notified will do their aptitude tests at a date and center indicated in their respective notification slips, they are expected to print from their email account’’.
The seriousness attached to the recruitment process by the Customs Comptroller General to ensure credibility, may hve informed why the Customs Spokesperson have advised the shortlisted Candidates coming to their various centers for the aptitude tests to endeavor come along with their notification slips and identity card.
Advising them to put up their best behaviour and ensure they comply with all instructions during the aptitude tests, he stated that anything contrary would lead to disqualification . He disclosed that the guideline for the shortlisted Candidates coming for the aptitude tests had already been sent to them . This should gladden the heart of the Candidates who may have been shortlisted but fear that they may not make it because they have nobody either at the National Assembly o or the Customs Management to speak for them. The Comptroller General’s Statement which was recently released the Customs Spokesperson may have have emboldened the Candidates who believe they have no put in a word for them in the system to be optimistic that they could make it.