Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise, Hon. Leke Abejide has said that lawmakers had come under pressure to ensure a place in the ongoing special recruitment exercise of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS.
Abejide who said that he had been inundated with calls from their constituents during a press conference in Abuja however explained that the recruitment was a special one in the sense that it was being done to fill vacancies that exist in four different cadres.
The Lawmaker explained that most local governments have already filled up their slots before now.
Abejide who asked for the understanding of the people expressed optimism that the repeal of the Customs and Excise Management Act which is ongoing will however guarantee full recruitment to give the Service 30,000 personnel instead of the its present staff strength of about 15,000.
Abejide also debunked reports that the bill was getting stuff opposition by relevant stakeholders.
He said: “The press conference on recent Nigeria Customs service recruitment exercise that the portal was opened on 13th December 2021, I consider it necessary to address this press conference to let Nigerians know that what Nigeria Customs is doing is not full recruitment but to fill the gap of the cadre not filled in the recent screening exercise for examples they had four Cadres, they have the superintendent, they have inspectorate, level four and level three.
“The superintendent is for the graduates. The Inspectorate is for the O’level that is national diploma NCE, while level four and three for school cert. And in the last exercise, some local government had been filled while some didn’t get. Some got one out of the four while some got two, so they are trying to fill in these two.
“It is important to make this clarification because of the pressure from our constituency who are not aware that Nigeria Customs Service is not undertaking massive recruitment for example if Yagba East local government where I came from happens to have gotten superintendent in the last exercise, there will be nobody again in that local government for superintendent. The only thing that would be open is the inspectorate cadre and level three and four.
“It is important to say this because millions of Nigerians will apply and I have received alot of pressure both within and outside on this issue of recruitment and I became tired and decided to use this medium to send this message because I expected Nigeria Customs to say clearly so that our youths will not be applying like the one they just concluded I received a lot of threats from people that are saying they are going to take over Nigeria Customs because they asked them to come and write exams and at the end of the day, they passed exam they don’t take them they are going to do this, they are going to do that.
“So many text messages and WhatsApp text messages. So for us to be at safer side, let our people first of all check which vancacy exists in their local government which one does not exist, so the one that does not exist you don’t need to do any search.
“Nigeria Customs does not have issues. They have already put it out but people keep on pressurizing colleagues. It’s there on the platform. People don’t understand that’s why we are making clarification so that they will understand it’s there on their portal but people keep on pressurizing our colleagues as if they are the one to give employment which is not correct.
“I want to add that currently we are working on the bill to reform customs that is customs and exercise management act. We are reappealing and renacting the bill. So, by the time it is done it is then Nigerian Customs will have all what it takes to be able to recruit massively.
“Actually if you were there during the time when I was making my speech I said that Nigeria custom service ought to be 30,000 officers. Currently, they are 15,439. They are just like half of what they should be. And they cannot get more than this if you see the recuritment is very slow is because of the payment seven percent collection they are currently getting from the duties they collect on behalf of federal government of Nigeria cannot even pay the salaries of the officers the president has to approve sixty percent of the one percent CISS comprehensively import Supervision scheme for them to be able to document their salaries and also do some infrastructures but in this bill we propose four percent FOB for them if they have this four percent FOB Nigeria Customs can recruit the whole thirty thousand they need that is why we need your support we need the support of Nigerians to make sure that this bill pass and the president accent to it once it’s done this issue of recruitment problem many of our youth capable one’s would be taken.
“You are asking if the recruitment is across the country, well I told you it’s four per local government every local government has the chance to have four officers so that’s seven hundred and seventy four that’s why they are doing three thousand two hundred officers Is equal either your from the south , north, East West it’s the same. I think custom has done it’s best in this regard. Then the issue of the bill is not people objecting to the bill they are very few and it’s not all the section they are talking about they are talking about some section that will suit them the way they want they don’t want to be regulated and it cannot work that way.
“I saw the one that Association of Nigeria Customs Licenced Agents, ANCLAR brought, if you see the one that manufacturing Association of Nigeria brought, they were not against the bill. They only want some aspect to be re drafted but for some people that are regulating the port, they don’t want Customs to requlate them at all. They want to do something and go scot free. It’s no longer going to be possible. We would not listen to that, the one that are useful we will take those ones that are not useful we will take it out. Majority are in support. It’s only few and the few sections they are talking about most of them are saying almost the same thing. When we looked at those submissions and then those ones that are not okay especially the one that talks about death penalty, we look at it and then we will correct it.”