Customs’ e-auctioning is fraudulent, illegal –Auctioneers

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has come under attack for allegedly introducing e-auctioning in the country against what the auctioneers claim is the best practice globally. Nigerian Association of Auctioneers has claimed that the Customs ought to allow its members to handle the process and cannot throw the auction bid open to the public after imposing an annual registration fees of N5,000 on over 5,000 registered auctioneers.

The Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Nigeria Association of Auctioneers (NAA) Alhaji Saliu Garba stated that what the Customs is doing with the eauctioning is illegal and fraudulent.

He said his association has gone to court to challenge the illegality. According to him, what is obtained everywhere in the world where e-auctioning is practised, is that the registered auctioneers are allowed to handle the process, and not what the Customs is currently doing.

He added that the Customs cannot be the seller of the items, according to the Sales by Auction Act., noting that NCS’ current action is the height of corruption and injustice which the present administration must check.

Earlier in a briefing, the association while commending the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the transparency it has entrenched in its own public auctioneering process stated that they will continue to reject the illegal process adopted by Customs Service.

Garba, also explained that his association is not saying that e-auctioning is not a global best practice, but excluding its members from the process after they have paid registration fees was fraudulent and illegal.

 He also asked Nigerians to shun the Customs’ e-auctioning as the matter is already a subject of litigation in court.

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