The Nigeria Customs Service has staved off criticism emanating from the discrepancies noticed in the first series of the e-auction exercise launched on 3rd July 2017 by the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali.
Out of the twenty three Customs duty collecting banks, only one, Jaiz Bank, was able to access the e-auction platform while the twenty two others complained of many technical incongruities and anomalies as reasons for their failure to participate in the first bidding which kicked off last week.
A statement by the Nigeria Customs Service National Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, stated that all the 23 Customs duty collecting banks were carried along, properly trained in the process, and when the platform was developed, it was subjected to user acceptability test with all the banks including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“Throughout this period, no bank indicated any problem with the platform. However, upon launch of the platform https.app.trade.gov.ng/eauction only Jaiz Bank was discovered to be ready and active on the platform. In the light of the above, the Service immediately wrote a letter to all the designated banks requesting them to “integrate with the e-auction application for the recharging of e-wallet” same day 3rd July 2017”, explained Attah, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs.
He said further “On Wednesday 5th July 2017 another letter was sent to CBN expressing the need for the Apex bank to confirm the readiness of Commercial Banks under its supervision to perform their roles in the process to ensure the success of the project. While we are being told that other banks are making frantic efforts to sort out whatever technical problem that is to hook up to the platform, this clarification is necessary to correct whatever wrong insinuation that could be generated as a result of having only one bank presently on the platform”.
Despite the initial hitches, the Service is happy to announce that the first 48 hours bidding period, Monday 12 noon to Wednesday 12 noon produced 43 winners. Items uploaded were 130 vehicles, 43 bidded for and won.