Customs give two weeks ultimatum to private jet owners in Nigeria to pay their duties
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has granted a two weeks’ grace for private jet owners to verify their importation papers and pay the required duty.
The Service gave the directive even as it disclosed that 30 out of 65 private aeroplanes verified so far are liable to pay required duties to the federal government.
The Customs spokesperson, Joseph Attah, explained that some of these aeroplanes came into the country by Temporary Importation agreement which allows them to bring the jets without payment because it was secured by a bond.
He said that thereafter many of them failed to turn up to pay on the expiration of the agreement which necessitated the verification.
He stated that with this exercise, 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.
The spokesperson said the verification had also given an opportunity to the service to clearly differentiate those aeroplanes in the country that were on commercial operations from those owned and used for private purposes.
Mr Attah restated that the verification was not meant to embarrass anybody but to ensure that the right or required duties were paid to the government by the owners of these private aeroplanes.
He further disclosed that with the impact of the first two weeks extension, the service had again been given another two weeks which commenced from Monday, July 26, to Friday, August 6.
“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.
“And also to ensure every collectable revenue is collected into the coffers of the federal government.
“As you all know, because of the case of increasing economic challenge, every source of revenue is important to the government and beyond that, for security purposes.
“With this, you can now tie proper ownership to every aircraft or private jet that flies in and out of the country. Through the exercise, we have been able to know those hiding under temporary importation agreements.
“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 stand for,” he explained.
According to him, this will be the last extension because whoever fails to turn up for the verification will have his aircraft impounded.
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