Ninety-one private jets belonging to some wealthy Nigerians are about being grounded following alleged refusal to pay import duties, running into about N30bn.
As per Punch, it all started with the federal government who initiated the process by reaching out to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). The latter in turn wrote the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency asking the agencies to ground the affected private jets with immediate effect.
Quoting the letter from NCS to NCCA and the others entitled, ‘Recovery of Aviation Import Duty on Privately Owned Aircraft Operating in the Country,’ the publication wrote: “The Federal Government in its drive for enhanced revenues has mandated the Nigeria Customs Service to immediately recover from defaulting private aircraft owners the required statutory import duties on their imported aircraft.
“You may wish to recall the verification exercise conducted by the NCS, initially scheduled for a 14 day period, but magnanimously extended over a 60-day period from 7th June through 6 August 2021, following a World Press Conference held on 31st May 2021. The outcome of the aforementioned verification exercise is a compilation of all private aircraft imported into the country without payment of statutory import duty.
“The Nigeria Custom Service, in line with its statutory functions, is empowered by Part 111 Sections 27, 35, 37, 45,46, 47, 52, 56,63 & 64; Part XI Sections 144, 145, 155, 160, 161& 164 and Part XII Sections 167, 168, 169, 173 & 174 of the Customs and Excise Management Act.”