Ali accuses banks of sabotage over ‘refusal’ to participate in e-auction

Hameed Ali, comptroller-general of Nigeria customs service (NCS), has criticised the alleged refusal of deposit money banks to participate in the recently launched e-auction exercise.

During an interactive session with chief executive officers (CEOs) of 17 banks in Abuja on Tuesday, the customs boss, according to The Nation, accused the banks of sabotaging efforts of the service at generating revenue for the federation.

Jaiz Bank is the only deposit money bank involved in the e-auction exercise.

Ali expressed surprised that banks, who he said had participated in the auction exercise when it was run manually, refused to partake in the ongoing automated auction system.

“I am surprised and I don’t know what to say. This is an economic sabotage,” he said.

“The money you are going to collect is not coming to customs, it is not coming to me as a person, it is going to the federation account that will be distributed to the three tiers of government. So, you deny that.

“For us to initiate this process and the banks pull out calls for concern. One is that we want to get some funds from there. Two, it’s going to ease the process of what we do, and it will encourage transparency in what we do.

“And the essence of what we do is to ensure that there is transparency collected revenue for the federation.

“I want to know if there are problem[s], and what are the problems?”

The Nigerian customs had on July 3 unveiled the electronic auction platform for the transparent sale of cargoes forfeited to the federal government.