The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has stated that about 30 out of 65 private airplanes verified so far are liable to pay required duties to the federal government.
The NCS Public Relations Officer, Mr. Joseph Attah, who made this known while speaking with newsmen in Abuja, revealed that some of these airplanes came into the country by temporary importation agreement, which allows them to bring the jets without payment because it was secured by bond.
Thereafter, he said many of the private jet owners failed to turn up to pay on the expiration of the agreement, which necessitated the verification.
Following the exercise, he said there would be more revenue to be accrued to the federal government, “because those who failed to adhere to the agreement would be made to pay the duties.”
Attah also stated that the verification had also given opportunity to the NCS to clearly differentiate airplanes in the country that were on commercial operations from those owned and used for private purposes.
The customs spokesman restated that the verification was not meant to embarrass anybody but to ensure that the owners of the private airplanes pay the required duties to the government.
He further disclosed that with the impact of the first two weeks’ extension, the NCS had again given another two weeks, which commenced from Monday, July 26, to Friday, August 6.
Specifically, he said:“Considering the rising number of compliance and the number of jets that are liable for payment of duties as well as indications by those people to do so, the Comptroller-General has again graciously given them another two weeks.
“The exercise, as I stated in our previous briefings, is not intended to be punitive or to embarrass them but to ensure that these private jets that operate in the country are properly documented. This is to ensure that all revenue due the federal government is collected into the coffers of the federal government. As you all know the case of increasing economic challenge, every source of revenue is important to the government and beyond that, for security purpose.”
Attah added: “With this, you can now tie proper ownership to every aircraft or private jet that flies into and out of the country. Through the exercise, we have been able to know those hiding under temporary importation agreement. We are aware that owners of private jets are highly placed Nigerians who should be respected and approached in a manner that provides all necessary convenience and that is what these extensions stands for.”