National Assembly may seek auction of 2,500 containers, 6,000 vehicles

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The National Assembly is working with some agencies to facilitate the auction of some abandoned and overtime goods at the ports.

The lawmakers, it was gathered, want the Federal Government to reconstitute the Committee for Disposal of Overtime/Abandoned Goods to  sell such items at Customs commands across the country.

A  scramble, it was learnt, has begun for the acquisition of the goods. Politicians, civil servants and those close to the top Customs Werarchy are said to have shown interest in the goods.

The goods are at Apapa, Tin-Can, Onne, Port-Harcourt, Calabar, Warri, Lilypond, Kirikiri and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, among others.

Customs sources told The Nation  that over 2, 500 containers and 6,000 vehicles may be auctioned.

At Apapa and Ikorodu terminals, sources said, over  300 and 500 containers have been marked as overtime/abandoned goods.

Onne Port, a source said, has many abandoned/overtime cargoes which the National Assembly may push  the government to sell anytime from now.

“Apapa, Tin Can, Ikorodu and Onne ports have many abandoned/overtime containers that may be sold by the government if the owners fail to come forward to clear them before the current move by the Assembly starts to yield positive result.

“Most of those that are likely to show interest in buying the abandoned goods are top politicians, government appointees and senior civil servants,’’ the Source said

When The Nation visited the Lagos ports at the weekend, civil servants were seen making enquiries from top Customs officers.

A senior Customs officer said since the government is yet to order the sale, some people have approached them to clarify the unapproved advertisement they are seeing on the social media.

“Most of these people coming to us to buy these items don’t even consider those who imported them into the country before the goods were trapped inside the ports,” the source added.

Some of the goods, he said, were imported with tax payers’ money and abandoned at the ports because they are sub-standard or prohibited items, which could not be cleared from the port under normal circumstances.

Some of the items in the containers, the source said, included lace, used clothes, second-hand shoes, bags, truck head, iron rod, angle bar, pipes, gas trucks, rice, furniture, light and other household items.

Most of the goods, the source said, were abandoned at the ports because they were seized by Customs officials for false declaration, undeclaration, attempt to evade duty, contrabands and demurrage charges by terminal operators.

Some of the containers, the source said, were caught in the web because the owners were using the port for storage facility.

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