HOUSE of Representatives
yesterday said it will investigate
the failure of the Nigerian
Customs Service, NCS to
auction confiscated goods.
The resolution followed a
motion on: ‘Urgent Need to
Investigate the Failure of the
Nigerian Customs Service to
Auction Confiscated Goods’
sponsored by Hon. Prestige
Ossy.
In his lead debate, Ossy
recalled that in 2015, the
Nigerian Customs Service
banned the auction sale of
goods seized by the service and
legally forfeited to the federal
government.
The lawmaker noted that
since the imposition of the ban,
there had not been any auction
sale by the service, adding that
this had ultimately resulted in
the proliferation of seized goods
at the various formations of the
Nigerian Customs Service.
He Observed that top on the
list of goods seized include:
vehicles, trucks, containers
of assorted household
goods, clothing materials, consumables etc.
Ossy hinted that a large number
of these goods havd been gazetted
and forfeited to the federal
government on the orders of
various courts in the country.
He expressed dismay that most
of those goods, especially the
vehicles with Duty Paid Valve,
DPV worth over N6 billion,
were rapidly dilapidating and
depreciating in value and had
naturally become habitats for
reptiles, termites and even birds.
The lawmaker stressed that
the service would eventually
spend huge amounts of money in
disposing of them, when it ought
to have generated huge revenues
for the government by auctioning
them before they weathered away.
Ossy reminded his colleagues
that sometime in 2015, following
the ban on auctioning of seized
goods, the service announced
a plan to set up an auction
sale website where interested
Nigerians could access available
goods and bid for them in order to
ensure transparency in the auction
process.
He regretted that the service
failed to set up the website and
had also failed to auction goods
in its custody, thereby willingly denying the federal government
of resources worth over N1
trillion which ought to accrue to
it from the auctioning of those
goods.
In its resolution, the Housr
mandated the Committee on
Customs and Excise to investigate
the matter with a view to
determining what informed the
decision to ban the auction sale
of seized goods and whether the
decision has truly caused the
country any financial loss and
report back to the House within
eight weeks for further legislative
action.
Meanwhile, a bill calling
for autonomy of the Nigerian
Customs Services to enable it
discharge its duties efficiently
was passed into second reading
on the floor of the House.
The bill titled: ‘A Bill for an Act
to Repeal the Nigerian Customs
Service Board Act, Cap. N100,
Laws of the Federation of Nigeria,
2004 and Re-enact the Nigerian
Customs Service Commission to
be charged with the Responsibility
for Administration of the Nigerian
Customs Service and for Other
Matters Connected Therewith,
(HB. 938) was sponsored by Hon.
Jerry Alagbaoso.
Leading debate on the general
principle of the bill, Alagbaoso
argued that the service would
perform much better if it is
removed from the Ministry of
Finance.
He maintained that being
under the ministry had hindered
its both operationally and
administratively.
The lawmaker expressed shock
that non of the nations ports has
a functional scanner for detecting
contraband and highly explosive
harmful and dangerous items,
including illicit drugs which had
been finding its way into the
country undetected.
Alagboaso stressed that as the
second highest revenue earner
in the country behind oil and
gas, there was need to grant the
service an autonomy and be well
equipped.


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