From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Tuesday gave owners of private jets in the country a 14-day ultimatum to sort out detected infractions in their import and operational documents with its Tariff and Trade Department or risk having them impounded.
The National Public Relations Officer of the Customs, Comptroller Joseph Attah, made the announcement in a press conference in Abuja.
According to him, the Service has already issued Demand Notices (DNs) to all those concerned and expects to rake in billions of naira once they close detected gaps.
Attah said that the action of the NCS was driven by the need to promote national security and recover trapped revenue of the government in various private jet coffers who evaded duties and other statutory charges.
He recalled that the verification exercise took place between June 7 and August 6 at the Tariff and Trade Department of the Service.
‘Within the stipulated period, 86 private jets/aircraft operators showed up for the exercise and presented the relevant documents for verification. Of this number, 57 were verified as commercial charter operators and were duly cleared for operations.
Twenty-nine other private jets/aircraft were found liable for payment of Customs duty. Their values were assessed, and the appropriate demand notices were issued to their owners for the payment of outstanding duties.
‘However, 62 other private jet/aircraft whose registration numbers were duly obtained from the appropriate authority were not verified because their owners or designated representatives made no presentations to Customs that could help determine their status.
‘To this effect, all 57 commercial charter jet/aircraft operators who presented their documents for verification are requested to come forward to the Tariff and Trade Department of the Nigeria Customs.
‘All 29 private jet/aircraft owners and or their representatives who have been issued with demand notices have been given 14 days from the 11th of October 2021 to collect and make payments to the designated Federal Government accounts after which they will be issued with Aircraft Clearance Certificates,’ Attah explained.
For the verification, the Customs requested aircraft’s registration, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA’s) Flight Operations Compliance Certificate (FOCC), NCAA’s Maintenance Compliance Certificate (MCC), NCAA’s Permit for Non-Commercial Flights (PNCF) and Temporary Import Permit (TIP) (where applicable).