Some Customs officers have disclosed that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) had not paid the full special allowances promised them for border patrol duties.
Nairametrics understands that although the NCS paid the officials in August, the allowances were slashed by about 80% in September. This caused disaffection among the officers.
The complaint came after the NCS announced that it was raking in more than N5 billion daily since the border was shut, as Nairametrics reported.
According to a customs officer, who pleaded anonymity, they were informed in August that all land borders would be shut and so there was a need for them to work overtime but that they would receive special allowances for it.
“The allowances would cover feeding, transportation and other expenses. It was also done so that we would not yield to temptations from those who usually offer us bribes for us to look the other way. As a PSC, I was paid about N380,000 while lower ranks were paid around N200,000.
“The plan was that the borders would be shut for just one month and that was why we were well paid. For reasons best known to our CG, the border closure was extended without proper planning. As a result, our allowances were slashed because there’s no money. I received just about N70, 000 last month,” the officer lamented.
A call to action: The officers affected have called on the authorities to pay up the allowances owed. They further urged the customs authorities not to take swift action that would force the men to get up and leave instead of getting the work done.
When asked about the matter, a senior officer of the NCS said, “What happened was that we didn’t have enough money to pay their allowances so we decided to give them something small to hold on to. When money is released to the NCS, the officers on border duty would be paid their balance. Their pay was not slashed.”