ABUJA: Owing to bogus bidding in the ongoing e-auction exercise of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), it has delisted 197 Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) of fraudulent bidders from the platform. The Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Joseph Attah disclosed this to The Nation in his officer at Abuja Tuesday. He said that the NCS has generated N161, 194,908 into the federation account from the exercise that has recorded 4,764 bidders among whom 4,345 e-wallets were enabled or recharged.
According to him, from July 3 that the e-auction was launched, the NCS has recorded nine windows of 48hours each. Attah said that “from these nine Windows, a total of 649 winners have emerged so far. And this process has already generated N161, 194,908 to the federal government account. Statistics shows that a total of 4 764 people registered and that those who were able to recharge their e-wallet and were properly enabled were 4,345 persons.” He told The Nation that the initial challenges that were recorded in the exercise have been overcome since the 4th edition of the e-auction the process has been seamless.
On the complaints that associated with the exercise, the PRO said that “the first complaint was that it was only one bank. Eventually all the banks have come in. And that has been dealt with. Then we noticed some criminal tendencies, where people arrange with themselves and somebody will bid and another person will bid bogus and unrealistic figure. The intention was that after you win you won’t go and take it so that your friend who is the next bidder will take it. “That has been taken care of because the system has been reconfigured in such a way that there is a certain amount you cannot bid beyond. If you bid a bogus amount it will not even accept it. So that has been dealt with. “The second highest bidder option which was a motivation for that practice has been jettisoned. If you win and you are not able to pay within five days, we take it that you are not a serious person and therefore we just deactivate your TIN from the platform.”
He said that rice importation through sea has decreased drastically following the rise in the cultivation of rice in the country. We believe that with the increase in locally produced rice we don’t need to advise the importers of rice to begin to think twice to either return home to start cultivating rice or reduce their amount of import instead of coming to sell at a giveaway price.” Attah noted that in as much as we have Nigerians that are willing to consume the local rise than imported rice, it behoves on the importers to reduce their volume of rice importation. His words: “We have more local production today than two years back. Local production is on the increase, more Nigerians prefer to eat the local rice to the foreign one. It makes economic sense for those into the importation of rice to reduce.”