Scores turn up at GRA auctioning of confiscated goods

BY: Della Russel Ocloo
Some bidders screaming to catch the attention of the auctioneers. PICTURE BY DELLA RUSSEL OCLOO
Some bidders screaming to catch the attention of the auctioneers. PICTURE BY DELLA RUSSEL OCLOO

Scores of people besieged the State Warehouse at the Tema Port where a public auction of general goods was underway on Thursday.

The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) undertook the public auction as part of a move to decongest its warehouse and also recoup revenues lost on such imports.

Items ranging from spare parts, computers and food items which had been confiscated to the state following the inability of the owners (importers) to clear them were on sale.

The move, according to the Head of Auction Unit at Customs, Mr Prince Akwaboah was in line with the Customs Act 891, section 93 which states that goods may be auctioned under the direction of the Commissioner General.

The Customs Division of the GRA had targeted to raise a revenue of GHc4 billion for the month of November and December, 2018 but Graphic Online gathers a drop in revenue is likely to prevent that target from being achieved.

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In an unusual fashion, bidders gathered at the frontage of the State Warehouse where a Customs official called out an item and the auctioneer asked for bids.

The bidders screamed out their offers in a move to outbid each other.

Successful bidders were issued with a payment chit which mandated them to make payments within two days as against previous arrangements where successful bidders made payments within 14 days.

Some bidders complained about the auction process and described it as unfair since they were not able to win any bids.

Mr Akwaboah however suggested that Customs may have to adopt an electronic means of auctioning the goods in future so that the entire processes could be decentralised to make sure people in other regions also benefit from such future auctions.