The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has threatened to impound 29 private jets over nonpayment of statutory import duties.
This was contained in the report on the verification of privately-owned airplanes in the country released by NCS on Tuesday in Abuja.
The Customs’ spokesman, Mr Joseph Attah, during a news conference noted that the 29 airplanes would be impounded if the owners did not show up at the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum given.
On May 31, Customs announced its plan to verify import documents of privately-owned airplanes in the country.
The exercise took place between June 7 and August 6 at the Tariff and Trade Department of the Service.
Customs Service in June read the riot act to private aircraft owners, warning those who have yet to bring their documents for verification to do so before the expiration of the grace period on July 6, or risk having their private jets impounded.
Within the stipulated period, 86 private jet or airplane operators showed up for the exercise and presented relevant documents for verification, according to Attah
He explained that 57 of them were verified as commercial charter operators and duly cleared for operations, PM News reports.
According to him, the 29 private jet/airplane owners and/or their representatives were issued with demand notices on October 11 and given 14 days to make payments to designated Nigerian government accounts.
Attah stressed that Aircraft Clearance Certificates will be issued after payment.
“Owners of private aircraft for which no presentations were made for verification, and whose status remains uncertain are requested to immediately furnish Customs Service with documents for verification and clearance.
“To this effect, all 57 commercial charter jets or aircraft operators who presented their documents for verification are requested to come to the Nigeria Customs Service Headquarters, Abuja, to collect their clearance certificates.
“All 29 private jets/aircraft owners and or their representatives who have been issued with demand notices have 14 days from October 11 to collect and make payments to the designated Federal Government accounts.
“They will be issued with Aircraft Clearance Certificates after payment.
"I implore all concerned to avail themselves of this opportunity, as Customs would not hesitate to activate enforcement procedures on identified defaulters.
"The Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria had been put on notice to ensure that only privately-owned airplanes cleared by Customs were allowed to operate within the country’s airspace," Attah said.