Nigeria government should follow proper procedure in disposing recovered, forfeited assets- Auctioneers national president, Alhaji Kiliya

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Alhaji Aliyu Kiliya

Alhaji Aliyu A. Kiliya is the National President of the Nigeria Association of Auctioneers (NAA). He has over forty years’ experience in organizational management, policy evaluation, implementation and monitoring of auction activities. In this interview, he advises the federal government about the proper procedure of auctioning of recovered and forfeited assets among others.

By Anthony Maliki, Igwe Solomon Onyekachi

The federal government as set a committee to dispose of confiscated and forfeited assets. What are your thoughts about it as you have been advocating for the disposal for long?
I want to point out that as the President of Nigeria Association of Auctioneers I have been calling on the federal government of Nigeria since 2016 to dispose all the recovered and forfeited assets that have been confiscated by the federal government, instead of the lives of these assets be wasted as scraps because they have lifespan and everything deteriorate with time. Also, if these assets are disposed within a stipulated period, the revenue expected by the federal government will not be generated as the items will go as scrap. So, it is better for the federal government to dispose all these items nationwide so that they will achieve their objective and generate the expected revenue. In disposing these items, there is need to engage the services of experienced and knowledgeable auctioneers who can immediately bring potential buyers from far and near to buy these items instead of using those that don’t have any idea of disposing. It is good we advise the federal government through the committee that have been given the mandate to dispose the items to follow the normal procedure provided by the Rule of Public Procurement and Stores Regulation so that there will be no problem in future. By the time they carry out a wrong disposal, issues will arise because the items were confiscated by litigation and may be other persons someday if they discovery the items were not properly disposed, will go back to court. So, it is needful for the government, the disposal committee or the Federal Ministry of Justice to engage those that have experience because this is not just something that will be sold only within Nigeria. It can be sold within and outside the country, therefore they need people with wide range experience to handle the disposal so that the objective of Mr. President and the image of the Federal Ministry of Justice as well as that of the disposal committee will be protected.
With the way you speak are you envisaging any wrong-doing in the disposal of these items?
I am not envisaging any problem but trying to advise because I know there so many technicalities involved in disposing items. Procedures are stipulated in both Stores Regulation and Bureau of Public Procurement Act and therefore you have to comply. Once you comply there will be no issue. I am talking about those who are ignorant and they want by any means to participate in the disposal of these items, so that is why I am advising at this initial stage to avoid any problem.

Invariably you are saying the Nigeria Association of Auctioneers is competent of handling such disposal professionally.
Our association is competent because we have people with wide knowledge who can handle those types of disposals. By the time you don’t engage in the services of experience people, there will hard sale and the overall objective will not be achieved.

What are the items to be disposed and the estimated revenue target to be gotten by the federal government?
Well, the amount anticipated to be gotten from the sales is about N3trillion. The items are those from EFCC, ICPC, Federal Ministry of Defence, Federal Ministry of Justice and other organisations that are incorporated on this disposal.
Are items from Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) also included?
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria is a separate body. But theirs is from the dead loans that were taken by persons that have not meet up. So, we are advising AMCON to also be fast in the disposing because now there is competition of the disposal by the Federal Ministry of Justice.

During the 2020 Annual General Meeting of Nigeria Association of Auctioneers, there were complaints by some of your members that they are sometimes prevented from auctioneering items in some states. What is the reason for this?
Sometimes we have community challenge which is one of the issues for some auctioneers and even the government itself. Some communities would insist they want to take money because the items are from their land forgetting that the items are for the federal government. But issues use to arise which brings a lot of challenge for auctioneers. A lot of things are happening. Sometimes the auctioneer has to abandon the items because communities won’t allow him to carry out sales.

But one will assume that such auctions of items would have passed through thorough some clearing processes?
Sometimes is it the fault of the government because they have to tell the communities that these items are for the federal government and they will benefit from whatever is to be realized too.

Over the years, you have been a strong advocate that auctioneers must be allowed to handle sales. It’s been your fight all these years. Do you still stand by it?
Yes. Why I always fight is that there are some public servants who are ignorant of the procedure of disposal. That is why they don’t initiate and the government loses revenue daily because of the lifespan of those items. That is why we always advise that government to ensure all the unserviceable items be disposed through the normal procedure.

That means that President Muhammadu Buhari has done well for the Nigeria Association of Auctioneers by ensuring that professionals are involved in sales.
Mr. President has done well but we want other organisations like the army, air force and others to join the queue on sales. Every year, the navy carry out some auctions which is commendable and we want other institutions to follow the same line.

What is the contribution of the auctioneering sector to the economy as many see their work as just selling items only?
Ours is to sell and we always advertise for people from far and near and it is then the federal government will generate more revenue because of the wide publicity if not the expected revenue will not be generated.

Have you able to resolve the issue of the breakaway faction in your association?
The court have finally given its ruling on the matter. The court in the judgement said we are the authentic body under my leadership. However, we now have one house.

What advise do you have for those that are still aggrieved?
My advice to them is that they should come and join the mainstream. Some of them are willing to return and we are ready to accommodate them if they are ready to comply with the procedure that have been established by our association.

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