By Gboyega Oni
The Nigeria Customs Service has said it is not deterred by the court case instituted against it by the National Association of Nigerian Auctioneers over the legality of the e-auction it introduced in July 2017.
The auctioneers had gone to court to stop what it called impunity on path of the Service in taking over their job with a belief that they are the one empowered by the law to carry out auction in the country.
Speaking in Lagos, National Public Relations Officer of the Service Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah stated this when addressing the press on the activities of the Service in 2017.
He said the e-auction, which was launched in July 2017, had a total number of 5,454 persons registered while 4,865 actually bided and 646 emerged winners with N272,115,366 generated as revenue to the government.
According to him, “the introduction of the e-auction process was based on the need to eliminate abuses associated with manual process of the past. This is to ensure maximum revenue from the process while still providing equally opportunity to all interested Nigerians to log on to the e-auction portal and bid for any items they wish.”
On the case, Attah said the Service is not moved by action of the auctioneers, saying such action is not new and the auctioneers needed to be educated on the power of the Service.
Adding that a faction of the group had dissociated themselves from the court case, Attah said the so-called auctioneers were legalized to auction unserviceable government property not seized cargo or items by the Customs.
According to Attah, “we are doing what is legal and we are producing good result for the nation.
“As an agency governed by law, management and disposal of seized or overtime items are strictly in line with the extant laws.
“NCS will continue to be careful in handling goods at its warehouses so as not to be dragged into unnecessary litigation by claimants as a result of illegal disposal.”