Acting Public Relations Officer of Customs, Mr. Joseph Attah while addressing the media in Abuja explained that the adoption of the electronic auction exercise had become necessary owing to the complaints about the opaqueness of the manual auction system.
"What participants need to get ready now is Tax Identification Number (TIN). In other words, if you want to be part of this e-auction exercise, you have to approach the Federal Inland Revenue Service and get your TIN). Your TIN number will be a crucial necessity because it is from that TIN number you can proceed further."
Other requirements for the e-auction, according to him, include a recent passport photograph, payment of non-refundable administrative charge of N1,000 into the auction e-wallet.
He said that the manual auction of the past was not competitive as a result of the selectivity of would be beneficiaries that opened it to abuse, adding that people were accusing the NCS of being partial in its selection of auction winners.
"In order to strengthen the process, build integrity around it, ensure transparency and provide equal opportunities to all interested persons, that Comptroller-General of Customs, suspended the auctioning of goods and set up a committee to build an online platform that could be secure, transparent and capable of providing equal opportunities,” he said.
"Now, the committee has built that platform. Right now the platform is undergoing user acceptability test . What that means is that in a very near future, a matter of some weeks, the Nigeria Customs Service will officially declare its trade portal, meaning that the auction exercise will be electronically driven."
Speaking on NSC plans to commence the operation of Bonded Vehicle Terminals while potential operators have to secure a bank bond of N50 million for eligibility, Attah maintained that the essence of the fund was to secure government revenue.
According to him, prior to the introduction of the bonded vehicle terminal, there were container terminals.
He however explained that now whoever wants to operate a bonded vehicle terminal need to have an expanse of land that is wide enough to accommodate many vehicles in a fenced environment. He said that owning a terminal meant that the operator can import vehicles from any part of the world and stating from the beginning as vehicles destined to 'AB&C bonded terminal in Abuja', Kano or wherever it maybe, right from the beginning it is manifested like that.
His words: "On arrival at the sea port, without the pressure of him going to look for money or go and take loan to pay customs duty, customs officers will escort this vehicles to his bonded vehicle terminals, without payment of duty. And those vehicle will stay there for at least 28-30days without even payment of duty. Custom will also establish a small custom outpost within each of these terminals.
"Within these first 28-30 days, if a customer comes there to buy a vehicle, he simply buys the vehicle, walks into the customs outpost within that terminal, pays his duty and drive her vehicle confidently home, without the fear of running into any customs checkpoint or being asked to present the pass and all that.
"Apart from this there are other multiplier effects, positively. Wherever there these bonded vehicle terminals commercial banks will begin to open branches there, because there is going to be volumes of commercial transactions, that is job opportunity.