Customs earns N2b from defaulting private aircraft owners


Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has declared that it has so far generated about N2 billion from the revalidation of documents of private aircraft owners in the country.

It had in June 2021 threatened to detain private aircraft whose owners were yet to validate their documentation in line with Federal Government’s revalidation policy and gave private aircraft owners 30 days to comply with the directive, failing which their aircraft would be grounded.

Two weeks into the deadline, it informed that no fewer than 91 of 147 identified owners and operators of private jets in the country failed the verification test the service conducted on them.

The NCS also disclosed that 62 allegedly refused to show up for the mandatory verification exercise, while 29 others defaulted in payment of customs duty.

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It, thereafter, issued a 14-day ultimatum for payment of duties and submission of verification papers, or risk sanctions that may include forfeiture of assets.

Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Timi Bomodi, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs, said the service realised about N2 billion from the exercise adding that the service deemed it necessary to cancel the deadline due the willingness of private aircraft owners to comply with the directive.

“The exercise was not meant to be punitive, but to ensure that the revenue due to government is paid. The exercise is still ongoing and hopefully, those affected will pay up the amount owed,” he said.

However, he could not provide details of the level of compliance, adding: “I don’t have the records right now, but all I can say is that the level of compliance is encouraging and it is still ongoing.”

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