The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, retired Col. Hameed Ali has inaugurated its e-auction platform, assuring Nigerians that it is transparent.
With the inauguration of the Electronic Auction (E-Auction) portal, bidding for seized vehicles began at noon.
Ali said that the essence of the platform was to give equal opportunities to all Nigerians as well as increase the revenue generation of the service.
According to him, the items on the e-auction platform are seized overtime cargos that have been forfeited to the Federal Government.
Ali said that the inauguration of the platform marks a complete departure from the manual process that was opened to abuses.
He said that in the past, stakeholders had accused the service of nepotism, short changing the government of revenue through arbitrary auction fees paid by allottees and sundry corruption allegations.
“What we are doing today is in line with the guidelines of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA). It is therefore my pleasure to formally inaugurate the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) e-auction platform and to wish all bidders good luck.”
“The upgrade of Customs to an electronic platform auctioning is still in line with the provision of Section 167 (2) CAP C45 of CEMA.’‘
Auction of seized and overtime cargoes were suspended for nearly two years since Col. Ali took over leadership of the service.
According to him, since my assumption of duty as the CGC, suspension order was placed on the manual auction to give way to the development of an electronic platform that will be secured, transparent, and 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.’‘
Ali commended the e-auction committee members for staying true to management decision to take the path of transparency on the way to auction seized and overtime cargoes.
The auction committee comprising of officials from NCS, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the partnering banks said there were three steps toward participating in the auctioning.
A member of the committee, and an official of customs, said that a bidder has to log on to the portal via https:app.trade.gov.ng/eauction.
The member said that the bidder will proceed to register with a valid Tax Identification Number (TIN), an email along with an E-wallet of a bank where the administration fee of N1, 000 per bidding will be deducted from.
He said that an individual can only bid for two items within a window, adding that every bid has a time frame of 48 hours, after which the highest bidder will emerge winner.
According to him, the winner will be contacted by the e-mail address provided and upon confirmation, the winner will is expected to pay for the item won and then exit the system.