The Nigeria Association of Auctioneers (NAA) has kicked against the direct auctioning process recently adopted by the Nigeria Customs Service to dispose of seized vehicles.

The Association said the direct auction method adopted by the Service has denied the Federal Government billions in revenue because the auction was not professionally handled.

NAA President Alhaji Mura Kurra told reporters in Abuja that major stakeholders were not carried along in the auction, saying the method adopted by the Service was strange and against international best standards and practices.

Kurra said members of his association paid over N40 million in taxes and levies to agencies of government, including the Nigeria Customs Service to enable them to participate in the auction only for the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali to abort the open bidding process which is approved by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

“We have been participating in auctioning of seized properties. We are registered with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) the BPE, and the Customs Service. But we are surprised at the decision of the Customs boss not to allow professional authorities handle the recent sales of confiscated vehicles.

“Our participation always saved money for government more so at this period that government complained about a sharp drop in revenues across all sectors. How can you explain the auction of 338 vehicles for N3 million and another 53 sets of vehicles for N530,000? Even if you are selling them as scraps, are you saying that a car with a whole engine and body is worth less than N10,000?”

Kurra urged the Federal Government to look into the matter with a view to saving money for the government and restore sanity in the industry by allowing major stakeholders and professional bodies to participate in the auction process.

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