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Private jet owners shun customs calls for verification as only six submit papers

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Two weeks to the deadline for the verification of private jet owners and their documentation, only six private jet owners have submitted their import papers to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

More than 100 private planes are said to operating in the country – many of them owned by the country’s growing number of rich businessmen and women.

Nigerians have spent $6.5 billion on private jets, making it the largest market in Africa for luxury aircraft and one of the fastest growing in the world.

The service had on May 31, gave a 30-day period for owners of private jets in the country to come forward with their import documents to enable the NCS to verify the ownership and the use of the aircraft.

The move by the NCS will also involve the owners of that private jets to present their aircraft registration certificates, flight operation compliance certificates and maintenance certificates.

The move was paramount considering security challenges in the country and the reluctance of some highly placed individuals to pay taxes.

READ ALSO: Again, UAE bars Nigerians from traveling to Dubai, others emirates

However, the service said at the end of the verification exercise it will confiscate all private aircraft that have not been verified by the NCS.

The Customs’ Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah said in an update that NCS would not hesitate to invoke appropriate sanctions on any defaulting private airplanes.

He said such action including the detention of the airplanes would be taken immediately after the expiration of the verification period on Tuesday, July 6.

“You will recall that the service on 31st may, 2021 made public its intention to carry out holistic audit of the importation of private aircrafts operating in the Country.

He noted that the exercise which had commenced June 7,  would end  July 6 2021 adding that it starts from 10.00 a.m to 5.00 pm daily.

Attah stated that the ongoing verification was to ensure all privately owned airplanes in the country were properly imported and cleared with all appropriate taxes paid.

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