Customs Says E- auction Not Abandoned, Blames Courts For Delay     

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that the electronic –auction (e-auction) it introduced last year has not been abandoned.

The National Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the service; Mr. Joseph Attah, who said this in an exclusive  chat with Shipping Position Daily on Monday, however  blamed judicial processes for the apparent delay in auctioning on the platform.

Shipping Position Daily recalls that the e-auction was introduced mid last year by Nigeria Customs Service as an online platform for auctioning of seized goods.

Explaining further, he said that until the court makes pronouncements on seized goods, the service does not have the legal right to sample such goods for auctioning.

He said that the service is not in the position to dictate the duration it will take such judicial process to end before the auction can take place.

"The e-auction platform has been developed, its alive and active, we started auctioning vehicles including some containerized seizures, you know anytime something is seized it goes through a judicial process. Customs is not in the position to dictate the duration it will take to close the case in the court. So until the court makes pronouncement on these items and forfeits them to the federal government, we don't have the right to post then for auctioning", he told our correspondent.

Explaining why many seized goods are yet to be auctioned, he said: "So a lot of people will come and say see many things are here and the customs are not uploading them, you don't just upload somebody's property when it has not been judicially-disposed of".

He also maintained that any time the service has goods to auction it will simply do so without delay.

"The e-auction platform is alive and active, any time we have items that have been condemned by the court and forfeited to the Federal Government we will auction them. The e-auction platform is a continuous process, if there is something to be auctioned, we upload”.

Also reacting to the insinuation that the service is only auctioning vehicles and not containerized seizures, he said that the service in the past had also auctioned containerized seizures.

"Now coming to the issue of containers, in the past we have auctioned some containerized items but of course the process is still on when it comes to overtime we will use it. Over time are mostly containers; when it comes to that time you will be seeing more of containers that time", he assured.

He called on interested individuals to log on to the service website between Mondays and Wednesdays every week to participate in the process.

"We have said this over and over again that interested persons should check our website every Monday from 12noon till Wednesday 12noon every week, if there is something you will see it, he added.