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In order to check fraudulent practices, the Nigerian Customs Services (NCS) has introduced some new measures in its newly introduced e-auction system. Key among these are the deactivation of the Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) of all fraudulent bidders and the removal of the option for second highest bidder to win when the highest winner fails to pay, as in such situation, the item reverts to the system for fresh bidding.

Spokesman of Customs, Joseph Attah who made the revelations in Abuja over the weekend, said the orders came from the Comptroller-General of NSC, Col. Hameed Ali, retd.

Attah noted that winners are informed only through e-mails from the system not by SMS. “While the System is being re-programmed to automatically reject such criminal antics, all fraudulent bidders are advised to keep off the NCS e-auction platform and allow interested Nigerians to reap the benefits of this transparent system that presents equal opportunity to all”, he stated.

The Customs Spokesman pointed out that 254 winners have emerged across the country with over N49 million already generated. 6,560 people have been able to recharge their e-wallet for the N1000 administrative fee and participated in the bidding. With 19 commercial banks hooked to the platform, interested bidders now have the option of choosing banks nearest to them for easy transactions.

“The NCS has already taken steps to deal with the challenges posed by fraudulent bidders who log in to frustrate other genuine bidders by placing bogus and unrealistic figures. In some cases, they send SMS to supposed winners congratulating them.

“NCS wishes to assure the general public that the e-auction platform will continue to go live for 48 hours from Monday, 12 noon to Wednesday, 12 noon every week”, he noted.

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