Reps to investigate auction of govt properties by customs, NPA, others

Reps to investigate auction of govt properties by customs, NPA, others

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), along with other agencies such as the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), River Basin Development Authority (RBDA), and Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), are set to undergo a thorough investigation by the House of Representatives.

The probe, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, aims to address concerns regarding the alleged unlawful auctioning of federal government properties.

During a plenary session in Abuja, the adoption of a motion put forth by Oluwole Oke (PDP-Osun) paved the way for this investigation.

Mr. Oke highlighted that “the proper procedures for the disposal and auctioning of government assets in Nigeria are clearly defined in the Financial Regulations of 2009 and the Public Procurement Act of 2007, among other relevant regulations.”

According to Mr. Oke, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) states that all revenues generated from the disposal or auctioning of public property must be remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

However, it has been alleged that the NPA, NIMASA, NRC, NCS, and RBDA have been engaging in the auctioning of public property at exceptionally low prices and without adhering to due process.

The lawmaker expressed concern over the partial or non-remittance of revenue derived from the auctioning of public property, emphasizing that this practice violates the constitution.

He further voiced apprehension that if such practices persist, combined with the decline in crude oil revenue, the government may struggle to meet the growing demand for rapid infrastructure development.

Consequently, the House of Representatives has decided to establish an ad hoc committee to investigate the disposal of public property by the aforementioned agencies.

The committee’s scope will cover the period from 2010 to 2022, aiming to ascertain the extent of the alleged illegal auctioning of public property and the failure to remit revenue to the consolidated revenue purse.

The committee is expected to submit its report within four weeks, enabling further legislative action to be taken.

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