In what is clearly a manifestation of the worrisome level of unemployment in the country, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) received 828,333 online applications from prospective job seekers who are jostling for 3,200 advertised vacancies in the paramilitary agency.
The figure was realized on Monday night after it shut its three-week recruitment portal to formally prepare for the next phase of the 2019 recruitment exercise. The portal was unveiled on Wednesday, April 17, which was preceded by a press conference on April 16.
The Spokesman of Customs, Joseph Attah who made the disclosure to Daily Sun in Abuja explained that out of 828,333 that applied online, 524,315 candidates successfully completed the process while 156,948 registered on the portal but failed to complete the process.
Attah explained further: “Out of the 524,315 candidates, 278,582 applied for employment in the Customs Superintendent cadre while 120,184 applied for positions in the Inspectorate cadre. Again, 115,987 applied for the Customs Assistant cadre.
“In all, 828,333 visited the site, some registered but could not complete the application process. For those who started and completed the process of application properly and the system accepted them, we have a total number of 524,315.
“We have a total number of 156,948 applications hanging. This means that they started the process but they could not finish until the time elapse and the system shut down,” be explained.
The Customs Spokesman further revealed the process of screening the applicants was ongoing, adding that only shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview in line with its internal recruitment template.
“Now that the system has been shut down, what is going on presently is screening, which is being done electronically because we have parameters that have already been keyed into the system.
“For instance, we discovered some people who read History, Geography and Biochemistry applied for marine related jobs. So, the system will weed out all these applications using the 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. All those on the shortlist will receive an email inviting them to go for examination and other screening that will follow,” he noted.
Attah however warned all prospective job seekers to look out for phoney portals that may be unveiled by online fraudsters to defraud them.
He advised them be to only accept communication from authentic Customs channels.
“We are aware that internet fraudsters will want to cash in at the moment and introduce all sorts of portals. The Customs portal has closed and therefore any invitation to visit any site especially on the social media are fake and the handiwork of fraudsters who want to extort money from desperate applicants,” he said.
Recall that the Acting Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs, Umar Sanusi, on April 16 announced at a press briefing held at the Customs headquarters that 2,200 persons will be recruited as general duty junior officers, while 800 will be between the rank of Customs Assistant and Superintendent.
He said: “Following the necessary approval from the Federal Executive Council, Nigeria Customs Service is now set to recruit officers and men, to fill existing vacancies in the support staff for Superintendent cadre category, Customs Inspector and Customs Assistant Cadre in the General Duty categories.
“Like all recruitments into positions in Federal Government agencies, application for recruitment will be open to all eligible Nigerians who meet the requirements irrespective of their tribe, religion, state or any other consideration.
He added: “We are aware that some criminal elements may want to take advantage of this recruitment to scam desperate job applicants. Some of them are reported to be operating illegal sites and portals, collecting various sums of money from applicants. I want to reiterate that the portal for this exercise can only be accessed through the official service website where no fees will be demanded.
“In our bid to ensure equal and fair opportunity to all applicants, we are working every step of the recruitment process in compliance with the requirements of the Federal Character Commission. We are actively engaged with the Commission to ensure that the process will earn a certificate of compliance on merit.