Customs denies spending N1.6 billion on recruitment exercise alone

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has denied the claim of the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, Ade Fadahunsi, that it paid a consultant the sum of N1.6 billion to conduct recruitment exercise for 3,200 people to the service.

NCS insisted that the N1.6 billion was paid to the consultant for both the recruitment and training for the entire period of the exercise.

Fadahunsi had accused the Comptroller General of the NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), of paying N1.6 billion to a consultant for the recruitment of 3,200 persons to the service.

Fadahunsi, who is a retired Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, said, “The CG wants to recruit 3,200 persons and he paid N1.6bn to a consultant to recruit 3,200 persons. The money is not for training, but to just recruit them.”

But the Public Relations Officer, NCS, Joseph Attah, explained that the funds covered the recruitment and training, which will last six months.

Giving a breakdown of the figures, he said, “The feeding will cost N2, 000 per trainee a day (N6.4m/day and N192m/month), which is about N1.152bn for the 3,200 persons for the six-month training at the Customs Training College, Ikeja.

“The process of recruitment and technical partners has a budget of about N300 million. We have not even talked about t-shirt, canvas, logistics, pay for resource persons and bonus for teachers (which are all part of the figure).” He said dropping the figure as recruitment fee was misleading.

In an interview with Punch, the lawmaker had alleged that the Customs headquarters, which was awarded for N2.7 billion then is going to about N30 billion.

He said, “The project has not been completed but the furniture contract for the uncompleted building has been awarded. Who is fooling who? If Mr President sees what the man is doing, he will run out of the country.

“That is why I am saying that Mr President should put a technical person from Customs there; if not, the man will run the place aground. The CG wants to recruit 3,200 persons and he paid N1.6bn to a consultant to recruit 3,200 persons.

“I asked him if the Nigerian Army ever used consultants to recruit personnel and he said no. He said Customs officers are corrupt and he is bringing in a consultant to recruit 3,200 persons and he will pay the firm N1.6 billion. Are you recruiting five million people? The N1.6bn is even in the budget and that is one of the reasons the budget was being queried by the leadership of the Senate.”

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