The Nigeria Customs Service has said that the federal character principle was followed in its recent recruitment exercise with all the 774 local government areas of the country duly represented.
Customs Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, stated this while reacting to concerns raised by some Nigerians, who felt marginalised during the last recruitment exercise.
Recall that the NCS had penultimate week released the list of 3,500 candidates shortlisted for the screening exercise.
Some of the applicants had taken to the Customs Facebook page to register their displeasure over the last recruitment exercise, which they said lacked merit.
Responding to the complaints during a virtual programme on the Nigeria Customs Broadcasting Network, Attah dismissed claims of favouritism in the exercise, insisting that the process was strictly based on merit and that there is no one local government that did not have its fair share.
“Recruitment in the Nigeria Customs Service is done strictly in line with the policy of federal character. In the recruitment list that was published, there is no one local government in the country that did not have its own fair share.
“This particular recruitment is a little bit different from the ones we do before because of the fact that this recruitment has up to 800 of superintendent that is those at the graduate level who are in as professionals such as, doctors, nurses pharmacist, accountant, meaning that they are not general duty officers who will go and carry gun to fight smugglers. Of course, you know that about 774 local governments are in Nigeria, so we ensure that every local government has each applicant out of the 800. Everything is divided by 774. That was the parameter used to arrive at those who were chosen.
“Also for an applicant to be considered to be among those in his local government, he must have passed creditably well in the exam. When we need 3, 200 people and you have over 1million people that applied, definitely, the competition will be very tough but at the end of the day it is always the best among the best that will be called because we are talking about merit,” he said.
Responding to why it took the Service almost two years to publish the recruitment list, Attah said it was for the safety and interest of the applicants that the exercise was put on hold as a result of the COVID- 19 pandemic.
“We wish the process would have been done earlier than this after the aptitude test by Jamb but shortly after the test was the outbreak of the COVID-19 with all the lockdowns. We never knew that COVID-19 will last up till today and we kept waiting to see what time would be safest but it wasn’t just coming. So it was in their interest that it was delayed,” he said.