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Private jets: 30 of 65 planes checked to pay customs duties

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Private jets: 30 of 65 planes checked to pay customs duties

By Mustapha Sumaila

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says 30 of the 65 private jets checked so far are required to pay the required duties to the federal government.

Customs public relations officer Joseph Attah made this known during an interview with the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.

Attah explained that some of these planes entered the country through a temporary importation agreement that allows them to bring the planes without payment as it was secured by a bond.

He said many of them subsequently failed to show up to pay when the deal expired, requiring verification.

He said that with this exercise, there would be more revenue for the federal government to accumulate because those who did not adhere to the agreement would be forced to pay the duties.

The customs spokesperson said the check also allowed the service to clearly differentiate the country’s planes that were engaged in commercial operations from those owned and used for private purposes.

Attah reiterated that the purpose of the audit was not to embarrass anyone but to ensure that the required fees or charges were paid to the government by the owners of these private planes.

He further revealed that with the impact of the first two week extension, the service again granted two additional weeks which began from Monday July 26 to Friday August 6.

“In view of the growing number of compliances and the number of aircraft that are required to pay duties as well as the indications of these persons to do so, the Comptroller General graciously granted them again two additional weeks.

“The exercise, as I indicated in our previous briefings, is not intended to be punitive or embarrass them but to ensure that these private jets that operate in the country are properly documented.

“And also, to ensure that every collectible income is collected in the coffers of the federal government.

“As you all know, the case of the growing economic challenge, every source of revenue is important to government and beyond, for security reasons.

“With that, you can now tie the ownership of every private plane or jet that comes in and out of the country. Through the exercise, we were able to know those who are hiding under a temporary importation agreement.

“We are aware that the owners of private jets are Nigerians in high places who should be respected and approached in a way that provides all the necessary convenience and that is what these extensions represent,” he explained.

According to him, this will be the last extension because whoever does not show up for verification will see his plane impounded. (NAA)

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