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Customs sell impounded vehicles as scraps, auctioneers kick

As reported by The PUNCH, Nigeria Customs Services has allegedly sold over 6,000 seized vehicles and other commodities to chosen organizations and individuals.

According to reports, the automobiles were auctioned off without open competitive bidding, which is a violation of the Bureau of Public Procurement Act of 2007.

The automobiles were purportedly labelled as scrap and sold at a loss via direct auction allocation.Information Guide Nigeria

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Section 55 (3) (5) of the BPP Act states, “The open competitive bidding shall be the principal source of receiving bids for the purchase of any public property offered for sale.”

A source said, “So far, about 6,000 vehicles have been sold to their cronies through the so-called direct auction allocation. The vehicles, which could have fetched the government huge revenue, were sold as scraps at giveaway prices.

“We all know that it is a ploy to enrich their favoured contractors at the expense of the government. The government is being denied the revenue it would have realised from open competitive auctions. If this government is serious, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali should be answering tough questions from either the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission or the National Assembly by now.’’

The PUNCH was unable to confirm the claims of 6,000 vehicles sold, but a letter from the NCS to a company, AMEX West Africa Limited, dated March 25, 2022, stated that 338 vehicles were sold for N3,380,000 through direct auction allocation by the Nigeria Customs Services’ Committee on Direct Disposal of Condemned Scrap Vehicles and Other Items in Abuja.

The letter was headlined ‘Direct auction allocation of junk automobiles and other items,’ and was signed by the Chairman of the Direct Disposal of Scraps Committee, Comptroller A.D Sanusi.

It read, ‘’I am directed to inform you that the Comptroller-General of Customs, acting on the provisions of Customs and Exercise Management (Disposal of goods) Act, CAP C46, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, hereby allocates the under-listed 338 lots of various scrap vehicles domiciled at Katsina State Area Command to your company as auction sales for the purpose of disposal, smelting and fabrication into raw materials for production valued at N3,380,000 only.

“All vehicles disposed of must be evacuated from the premises within 10 working days after payment or risk forfeiture. Furthermore, you are to note the following: Application for replacement of allocated vehicles would not be entertained. All allocation letters transferred or sold by the allottee to a third party shall be at the buyer’s risk.’’

“of determining the best method of sale or disposal of the goods; and where the goods are to be sold;

“of ensuring that such reasonable prices as may be determined by the Director are obtained in the course of such sale or disposal, and of appointing through tender (where necessary) any person or agent to buy or conduct the sale or disposal of the goods; and

‘’of ensuring that the goods shall not under any circumstances be sold or otherwise disposed of to any importer to whom the goods are or have been consigned or to any person, firm or agent connected therewith.’’JAMB Result

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Emediong Ekpe

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing.

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