By Victor Ernest
The House of Representatives on Thursday in Abuja mandated its Committee on Customs and Excise to investigate the failure of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to auction off confiscated goods.
This followed the adoption of a motion on the ”Need to Investigate the Failure of the Nigerian Customs Service to Auction Confiscated Goods” sponsored by Rep. Prestige Ossy (Abia/Aba North/South).
Disservice to the government
Ossy said that the ban on the auction of goods seized by the NCS has resulted in the forfeiture of such goods to the Federal Government.
He expressed worry that since the ban took effect in 2015, ”it had resulted in the proliferation of seized goods at various formations of the Nigerian Customs Services.”
He said that goods seized in large numbers from different parts of the country included vehicles, consumables, clothing materials and containers of assorted household goods.
Effect of not auctioning
The lawmaker said that instead of auctioning the seized items worth billions of naira, the service left them to degrade.
He said “most of these goods, especially the vehicles with Duty Paid Value (DPV) worth over N6bn, are rapidly dilapidating and depreciating in value.”
According to him, the Customs Service ”spends huge amount of money” in the disposal of the goods which would have generated huge revenue for the government by auctioning them before they weather away.
Ossy said that the service announced the establishment of an auction sale website in 2015 but, two years on, the website is not up and running yet.
”The failure to auction goods in its custody has denied the Federal Government over N1tn which ought to accrue to it from the auctioning of those goods,” he said.
After the adoption of the motion, the House passed it to the Committee to investigate and report back in eight weeks.