Mixed feelings as Customs begin e-auction July 1
Notwithstanding the assurance of transparency and accountability, there are mixed feelings from stakeholders and prospective bidders, as the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) is set to fully deploy the e-auction portal on July 1st.
Some prospective bidders, who spoke with The Guardian said the e-auction does not guarantee complete transparency in the process unless the handlers of the auction have self restraint and discipline, while others believed that online auction will largely eradicate personal relations and favouritism in the process.
Manual auction is seen to be uncompetitive and open to abuses, hence, its suspended. The Customs Spokesman, Joseph Attah, in a statement confirmed that after repeated tests of the e-auction platform, the system is now ready for full auction processes.
“The portal is now fully networked to designated banks to ensure money accruing from the auction gets to the Central bank of Nigeria Treasury Single Account for transparency and accountability,”
After receiving the report, the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ibrahim Ali, had directed the auction committee to ensure that only proper pictures of the goods as well as detailed information about each are uploaded to avoid any misgiving.
He further stressed the need for more weeks to enable interested members of the public to obtain their Tax identification numbers (TIN) from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) before the commencement date.
According to the Customs, the platform which is highly interactive will only give access to holders of TIN. “Such tax payers will log in, read the guidelines, pay the non refundable one thousand auction fee and proceed to bid for the items on auction,” it stated.
Ali assumed duty in 2015 with a three-pronged Presidential mandate of Restructure, Reform and enhancing revenue. The committee set up has now developed an e-auction platform that is secured transparent and guarantees equal opportunities to all Nigerians.
All interested persons are therefore advised to get ready by obtaining their Tax identification numbers issued by FIRS.
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Nigerian Association of Auctioneers, Isibor Benjamin Abhulimen, has alleged that the Customs is not following due process in the online auction procedure.
No comments yet