E-auction: Fraud claims mar Customs e-auction process as one person allegedly gets over 300 vehicles

By: Joy Enamuna

Despite the deployment of technology, the recent electronic auction of vehicles by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has been characterised by massive fraud with one person allegedly getting over 300 vehicles.

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) 100% Compliance Team made this allegation in a letter addressed to the Comptroller-General of NCS, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, recently.

In the letter titled: “The Monumental Stealing By The Customs Auction Committee And Their Plans To Dispose-Off Overtime Containers,” was signed by the National Coordinator of the Compliance Team, Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim.

According to the Compliance Team, plans have been concluded to extend the same fraudulent treatment in the auction of overtime containers.

While reacting, the NCS said, “We wish to categorically deny involvement in fraudulent activities or underhand dealings in the e-auctioning of vehicles or other goods. The NCS Auction Committee operates within the confines of the law and adheres strictly to established guidelines and procedures for disposing of seized/overtime goods”.

“Regarding the allegation that over 300 vehicles have been auctioned to just one individual via the e-auction window after purported underhand payments, we wish to state that this is entirely false, misguided, and spurious. Furthermore, suggesting that a token sum of N10,000 is collected as duties to the Federal Government on the e-auction window, which has a reserved price of N400, 000 is indeed misleading and misrepresentation of fact”.

“From the data generated upon completing five successful bidding windows, 13,605 applicants registered in five windows on our e-auction portal, where 476 vehicles were uploaded, and 462 won. Also, the government realized N556,738,736 as revenue. It begs the question of where the allegations are coming from”.

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