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Auctioneers task government, others on sale of assets


NACCIMA President, Iyalode Alaba Lawson

Certified Institute of Auctioneers of Nigeria has held a conference at the Lagos Chambers of Commerce with the theme, “2018 Budget Outlook: Reflating the Economy through Auction Practice.”

The auctioneers said they add value to the economy of the country by not allowing anything be wasted and by selling forfeited assets which are part of various recoveries. They want government to allow them to participate in the privatization or concession of non–oil assets estimated at #306billion, including of assets seized.

They stressed that government does not always need to borrow for the budget when money can be raised from forfeited assets and others recovered.
The auctioneers said the assets that fall into this group will run into hundreds of billions per annum.

Online platforms of auction companies have been used by the United States Department of the interior Bureau of Land Management as well as government agencies to sell leases through sealed bid sale.

The use of such online auction platforms in sealed bid oil and gas transactions will encourage transparency and be devoid of political interference, making the government to benefit maximally from the sales.

This will also prevent the economic loss to the nation.

On-line auction platforms should be encouraged in Nigeria, they emphasized. The Federal Government of Nigeria intends to raise N306 billion from the concession of non-oil assets in 2018.

How does the Nigerian auctioneer benefit from this? FGN has announced that four airports (Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano) will be given to concessionaires in the first phase. The others that make up the 22 airports operated by FAAN will follow.

The process has started, how many auctioneers are involved? Concession award should as a rule be made competitive and competitive concession awards made by first price sealed bids.

The interest in and reliance on competitive procurement method is expanding. According to EU Commission advice, a well-designed auction can lead to significant competition between bids revealing the real costs of the individual projects, promoters and technologies, thus leading to cost-efficient support levels.

They said Nigerian auctioneers should be engaged in all three auctions.

They advise that to guard against abuse, it is advisable for government to use independent auctioneers for concessions.

In the alternative auctioneers should be part of the evaluation panel for these concessions.

While training and re-training in the latest trends in auctioneering globally must be done, leveraging on technology to advance and an enabling law to regulate the profession.

Dr. Omoba Yemisi Shyllon (D Litt.), the largest private art collector in Africa & President, OYSAF International, spoke on the issue.
“Network with other auctioneers globally and lobby government for participation in complex transactions like concessions.”

Government should give auctioning in Nigeria solely to the auctioneers to increase the GDP and employment. He said transparency will be enthrenched in auctioning of forfeited assets as the general public will know what is sold and how much it is sold.

Prince Lekan Fadina, who was also at the event said auctioning will give room for transparency in the sale of forfeited assets and add value to such items, while the things being auctioned will go to the right hands and there will be no partiality in the sales as auctioneers use only bidding. Lekan said biding is always done openly and at this time everybody is aware of the highest bidder who gets it, transparently enough for everybody to see.

Instead of all agencies to sell assets on their own, let every agency do so through auctioneers where there is open bidding and the fund can be directed to the allocated purse or to the government, he added.

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