Auctioneers Group warns FG against online auction of confiscated assets

By James Emejo

The Nigerian Auctioneers Association (NAA) has warned the Federal Government against plans to sell confiscated or salvaged assets online.

The group said adopting the online platform to weed out what it described as “unusable and perishable” items was tantamount to delay and loss of revenue, which could not benefit sellers or to potential buyers.
The association’s national president, Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed Kiliya, said any reliance on the internet to dispose of recovered property would amount to “economic sabotage by the custodians of such property”.

He explained that online auctions are particularly ideal for special items, including “new vehicles, plants and machinery and not unusable or perishable items”.

Kiliya, further argued that the recovered assets, which are mostly vehicles and other items, are now beyond economic repairs following a lengthy legal battle.

While stressing that the NAA has experienced auctioneers who are capable of any type of auction, he insisted that the standard and practice for disposing of unserviceable items is through a process of ‘open bidding, rather than an Internet auction.

This, he said, can guarantee maximum revenue and protect the image of the government and the interests of the public.

“Online auctions constitute economic delay and sabotage by the custodians of these items,” the NAA president said.

He said most potential buyers prefer open auctions of unusable and perishable items, adding that online auctions could lead to difficult sales due to lack of physical access to items, which can lead to total deterioration of the items concerned.

He said: “I am the national chairman of the Nigerian Association of Auctioneers and my position demands transparency and accountability. In this regard, posterity will judge me if I remain silent while things go wrong.

“I sincerely appreciate the Joint Government Committee chaired by the Honorable Minister of Justice, for working tirelessly to ensure that due process is followed to avoid litigation and, by extension, for inviting all commissioners- appraisers who have expressed interest in submitting their bids as stakeholders of the company and also participate as observers, the committee has demonstrated a high level of transparency.

He also commended the Federal Department of Justice, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Federal Government’s Joint Committee on the Disposal of Recovered and Forfeited Assets and called for their cooperation.

He said, “We have made several appeals against the activities of the Nigeria Custom Service, regarding seized perishable items and the negligent attitude, they have neglected the standard process of auctioning perishable and unusable items resulting in a loss of revenue and therefore urge the aforementioned agency to follow the correct channel to dispose of seized perishables. »

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