Govt summons private jets owners over improper importation, others

The Federal Government has asked owners of private jets in the country to present their documents for verification. It gave the order in a notice through the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). The NCS said the exercise aims to identify improperly imported private aircraft without documentation, ensure proper imports, and for maximum revenue collection.

“The Nigeria Customs Service announces a verification exercise for privately owned aircraft operating in Nigeria,” the statement read.

“This exercise aims to identify improperly imported private aircraft without documentation, ensuring proper imports and maximum revenue collection.”

The exercise will start on Wednesday (tomorrow) and is expected to last for 30 days. The venue is the Tariff and Trade Department Room, Nigeria Customs Service Headquarters at No 4 Abidjan Street, Wuse Zone 3 in Abuja.

It said the verification exercise will be held from 10:00 am – to 5:00 pm daily.

According to the notice, owners and operators of private jets in the country are to come with some relevant documents.

These include aircraft Certificate of Registration, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s Flight Operation Compliance Certificate, NCAA’s Maintenance Compliance Certificate, NCAA’s Permit for Non-Commercial Flights, and Temporary Import Permit (if applicable).

The development comes one year after the FG put on hold the exercise. The government had planned to recover import duty running into billions of naira from some private jet operators who had taken advantage of technical loopholes, to evade the payment of import duty.

Sometime in 2021, about 17 owners of foreign-registered private jets, comprising top business moguls, leading commercial banks, and other rich Nigerians, dragged the Federal Government to court, seeking to stop the grounding of their planes over alleged import duty default.

This came after the Federal Government approved the decision of the NCS, to ground about 91 private jets over their alleged refusal to pay import duties running to over N30bn.

The NCS had in 2021 embarked on a review of import duties paid on private jets brought into the country since 2006.



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