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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has vowed to beam its searchlight on private jet owners, who are now mandated to carry out an immediate verification of their aircraft to ensure they are operating legally as enshrined in the Federal Government’s extant laws.
According to the agency, this is in line with its quest to boost Nigeria’s internal security and revenue.
NCS Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, during a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, said defaulters will be visited with the full weight of the law, saying no one will be treated as a sacred cow.
He said: ‘In line with the need to ensure strict compliance with all regulations, especially at this time of challenging security situation and reluctance of some highly placed individuals to pay taxes, NCS will be taking stock of all privately-owned aircraft in the country. This is to ensure strict compliance with all relevant regulations governing the importation of such aircraft’.
Attah said the documents sought for verification are: aircraft certificate of registration, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s (NCAA) Flight Operations Compliance Certificate, NCAA’s Maintenance Compliance Certificate, NCAA’s Permit for Non-Commercial Flights and Temporary Import Permit (where application).
He noted that all private jet owners or their representatives are to report to room 305, Tariff and Trade Department, NCS Headquarters, Abuja from Monday, June 7 through Tuesday, July 6, 2021, between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm daily, with relevant aircraft documents for verification.
While clarifying that private jets do not pay Customs duties, Attah said such airplanes are expected to pay the mandatory Comprehensive Imports Supervision Scheme (CISS) charges.
‘We want to ensure all charges due to the government are paid. The move is not punitive but to ensure compliance. If deficiencies are found, there will be room for correction.
‘We are aware Nigeria is facing security challenges and there is a downturn in the global economy and so any legitimate thing that will boost our revenue is welcome.
‘We need to know who owns what and we want to know how they came in to ensure nothing untoward happened,’ he said.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK