The Nigeria Customs Service has said the N1.6 billion allegedly paid to a consultant to conduct the ongoing recruitment exercise into the service was budgeted for both the recruitment and training for the entire period of the exercise.
It would be recalled that in an interview published in the Sunday Punch of January 12, the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, Senator Ade 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 and current Senator representing Osun East Senatorial District, said, “The CG wants to recruit 3,200 persons and he paid N1.6 billion to a consultant to recruit 3,200 persons.
“The money is not for training, but to just recruit them”, he said.
However, the Public Relations Officer, NCS, Mr Joseph Attah, has explained that the funds covered the recruitment and training, which will last six months.
Giving a breakdown of the figure, he said, “The feeding will cost N2, 000 per trainee a day (N6.4m/day and N192m/month), which is about N1.152 billion 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.