How To Become A Customs Officer In Nigeria

How To Become A Customs Officer In Nigeria

The Nigerian Customs Service plays a vital role in facilitating trade and regulating cross-border movements. As a leading paramilitary organization, it helps generate revenue for the Nigerian government through import and export duties. Becoming a customs officer offers a stable government job with opportunities for career growth. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the process of becoming a customs officer in Nigeria. It covers all the eligibility criteria, application steps, and training phases, and answers some commonly asked questions about the role.

Basic Requirements to Become a Customs Officer in Nigeria

Some basic eligibility criteria must be fulfilled to qualify for a career as a customs officer:

  • Applicants must be Nigerian citizens by birth or descent.
  • The minimum height required is 1.7 meters for males and 1.64 meters for females.
  • Chest measurement must be at least 0.87 meters for males.
  • Applicants must be between 18-35 years of age.
  • Possess a recognized educational qualification as specified for different cadres.
  • Meet the medical and physical fitness standards set by the NCS.
  • Have a clear background with no criminal record.
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Educational Qualification Requirements

The educational qualification criteria vary depending on the cadre or level that one wishes to join:

  • Superintendent Cadre: Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.
  • Inspector Cadre: HND/OND or NCE from an accredited institution.
  • Assistant Cadre: SSCE/GCE or approved trade test certificate.

Application Process

Here are the step-by-step instructions to apply for a career as a customs officer through the official NCS recruitment portal:

  1. Visit the NCS recruitment website at
  2. Select the appropriate cadre based on your educational qualification
  3. Register your profile and pay the application fee of N5,000
  4. Login and fill out the online application form with relevant details
  5. Upload documents such as academic certificates, NYSC discharge, etc
  6. Review your application details and submit the form
  7. Wait for the shortlisting announcement and the next phase of communications

It is important to note that the NCS recruitment process is highly competitive. Only shortlisted candidates will be invited for further selection stages including written examinations, physical assessments, document verification, and interviews.

Training Requirements For Nigreian Customs Officer

After the final selection, prospective customs officers must undergo rigorous training at the Customs Training School in Gwagwalada, Abuja:

Assistant Cadre: 6 months of foundation training

Inspector Cadre: 9 months foundation and professional course

Superintendent Cadre: 12 months foundation and strategic leadership program

The training equips recruits with relevant technical knowledge, customs laws, regulations, and procedures and instills discipline. Only after clearing all assessments during training can one officially join the NCS workforce.

Career Prospects as a Customs Officer

A career in the NCS offers many opportunities for growth and advancement over the years:

  • Promotions to higher cadres like Chief Inspector, Assistant Comptroller etc.
  • Postings to zonal commands, seaports, borders, and international airports
  • Specialized training to handle sensitive assignments
  • Administrative roles in policymaking, budgeting, public relations
  • Opportunities for international cooperation and training programs
  • Attractive pension and retirement benefits after putting in 35 years of service
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the salary of a Customs Officer in Nigeria?

The salary scale for customs officers ranges from N70,000 to N150,000 per month depending on the cadre and years of experience. Allowances also apply.

What are the chances of getting shortlisted after applying for NCS recruitment?

On average, only about 5-10% of total applicants are shortlisted for further assessments. It depends on the number of available vacancies. Having a relevant degree, neat application, and meeting all criteria increases chances.

How long does it take to complete the NCS recruitment process?

The entire recruitment cycle from application to final selection can take 8-12 months depending on the cadre and number of stages. The process involves written exams, physical tests, document verification, medicals, background checks, and interviews at different levels.

Can I apply for more than one cadre at the NCS?

No, as per guidelines applicants can only select and apply for one cadre/position based on their educational qualification. Applying for multiple cadres will invalidate the application.

What languages are preferred for customs operations?

Besides English, candidates fluent in major Nigerian languages like Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo have an added advantage as it helps during border operations and community relations work. Foreign languages also have importance.


Serving as a customs officer is an impactful career offering the opportunity to safeguard national borders and promote trade & investment activities. The NCS looks for diligent, honest, and physically fit individuals who are committed to public service. Following this guide and meeting all eligibility criteria enhances one’s chances of joining this paramilitary organization. With hard work, one can have a secure long-term career trajectory in the NCS.


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