N30bn import duty :
FG directs Customs to ground 91 private jets
The news reaching our platform reveals that the Federal Government has directed the top management of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), to ground about 91 private jets for alleged refusal to pay import duties estmated at a monetary value of over N30billion.
Our correspondent gathered that the 91 private jets involved belong to rich individuals in the country.
Therefore, in line with the directive from government, the Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC Hameed Ali, has sent out a letter to Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA); the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), to take immediate action by grounding the affected private jets.
Accordingly, the letter, with reference number NCS/T&T/ACG/042/s.100/VOL.II, dated November 2, 2021, was addressed to the Director-General, NCAA, Capt Musa Nuhu.
Also, a copy of the same letter was sent to the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt Rabiu Yadudu; as well as the Managing Director og NAMA, Capt Fola Akinkuotu.
Thus, the letter directed NCAA as the aviation agency regulator, NAMA, the agency in charge of airspace management and FAAN, which is in charge of airport management to ground affected private jets, by denying them administrative and flight clearances to operate.
The letter reads; “Recovery of Aviation Import Duty on Privately Owned Aircraft Operating in the Country.
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.
“In this regard therefore, your full cooperation is being solicited to ensure the success of this initiative and that all such private aircraft owners or representatives are denied administrative and operational flight clearances indefinitely, until Aircraft Clearance Certificate is procured and presented to your organisation as proof of compliance.”
* * * Additional details from Punch Newspaper