Nigeria Customs denies allegation of fraud and underhand dealing in e-auctioning

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has refuted the allegation of fradulent and underhand dealing in its ongoing e-auctioning of goods.

The rebuttal was made by Abdullahi Maiwada, Chief Superintendent of Customs, the National Public Relations Officer.

“The Nigeria Customs Service is in receipt of a report titled “The Monumental Stealing By The Customs Auction Committee And Their Plans To Dispose-Off Overtime Containers” with great concern. It is disheartening to note the serious allegations regarding the integrity of the ongoing e-auction process designed to provide a level playing ground for all Nigerians,” Maiwada said.

He continued, “The NCS is a law-abiding government organization dedicated to maintaining the most outstanding levels of accountability and transparency in all its activities and taking any accusations of improper behaviour seriously.

“We wish to categorically deny involvement in fraudulent activities or underhand dealings in the e-auctioning of vehicles or other goods. The NCS Auction Committee operates within the confines of the law and adheres strictly to established guidelines and procedures for disposing of seized/overtime goods.”

Regarding the allegation that over 300 vehicles have been auctioned to just one individual via the e-auction window after purported underhand payments, “the NCS wish to state that this is entirely false, misguided, and spurious. Furthermore, suggesting that a token sum of N10,000 is collected as duties to the Federal Government on the e-auction window, which has a reserved price of N400, 000 is indeed misleading and misrepresentation of fact.

“From the data generated upon completing five successful bidding windows, 13,605 applicants registered in five windows on our e-auction portal, where 476 vehicles were uploaded, and 462 won. Also, the government realized N556,738,736 as revenue. It begs the question of where the allegations are coming from,” concluded the statement.

Customs reaffirmed commitment to transparency, accountability, and adherence to the rule of law in its activities; and urge members of the public to join the service with the common goal of promoting an inclusive system that is fair to all Nigerians, irrespective of their status.