The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has begun the electronic auction of goods in various parts of the country.
The goods include those seized or abandoned by their owners and declared as overtime by the Customs.
The Comptroller-Genera of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, who unveiled the e-auction platform in Abuja explained that the system was very transparent.
Under the arrangement, only those with the Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) can participate in the auction exercise.
Participants, after a payment of a non-refundable deposit of N1,000 log-in to bid for the items on display.
According to the CGC, the exercise is a change from the past believed to be untransparent.
He said: “The launching of the e-auction platform today marks a complete departure from the manual process of the past that was opened to abuses.
“In the past, stakeholders had accused the service of nepotism, short-changing the government of revenue through arbitrary auction fees to be paid by allottees and sundry corruption allegations against the service.”
Ali added that “Consequently, since my assumption of duty 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.
“It’s been a long walk to an era of a system that will ensure transparency and accountability in such a way that leaves nobody in doubt that NCS has the capacity to discharge its responsibilities with utmost sincerity.”
Members of the auction committee include officials from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) as well as the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The Service said that proceeds from the auction would be remitted to the CBN via the Treasury Single Account (TSA) through designated banks to enhance transparency.