Hameed Ali, Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) announced on Monday that the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has commenced electronic-auction of seized goods in its various warehouses across the country.
Unveiling the e-auction platform in Abuja, Ali said as the e-auction platform in Abuja, yesterday, saying that the exercise would make auctioning of goods seized by customs transparent.
He stressed that the auction of seized goods would no longer be business as usual, as the exercise, which was in the past subjective was based on who-got-what and often executed at the discretion of the Customs authorities.
“The launching of the e-auction platform today marks a complete departure from the manual process of the past that was opened to abuses,” he said.
He explained that the Service have been accused of nepotism, short-changing the government of revenue through arbitrary auction fees to be paid by allottees and sundry corruption allegations against the Service by stakeholders, adding that since his assumption of duty as the CGC, suspension order was placed on the manual auction to give way to development of an electronic platform.
He said “since my assumption of office as the CGC, suspension order was placed on the manual auction to give way to development of an electronic platform that will be secured, transparent, capable of increasing revenue, as well as, providing equal opportunities for all Nigerians who are interested in the process”.
The e-auction committee consisted of officials from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Standards Organization of Nigeria, and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control among others. According to an NCS statement, the portal has designated banks to ensure money accruing from the auction gets to the Central bank of Nigeria Treasury Single Account for transparency and accountability.
However, the auction committee has been directed to ensure that only proper pictures of the goods as well as detailed information about each are uploaded to avoid and misgiving adding that only interested members of the public with Tax identification number (TIN) from the Federal Inland Revenue Service would be able to bid in the e-auction process as the platform gives access to TIN holders only.