Nigerian government revenue drive targets private jets
Due to a revenue drive as a result of the pandemic, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has begun a push to ensure the correct duties are paid on all private aircraft in the country. It has reported that 30 of the 65 private airplanes it has verified so far were liable to pay duties to the federal government.
Some of the aircraft came into the country by Temporary Importation agreement, which allowed the owners to bring in the jets without payment because it was secured by bond. But the owners failed to pay on the expiration of the agreement, which led to the NCS campaign.
Nigeria-based lawyer, Adedoyin Afun, partner, Bloomfield LP told Corporate Jet Investor he is not surprised by the news and does not think the campaign should concern owners and operators.
“It is kind of foolhardy because when you get that permit you provide a customs bond from the bank, the effect is that if you do not take it out, the customs just crystallise the bond. So, I don’t know why they [NCS] are making noise about it,” said Afun. “If they really have those bonds and they are still valid, they should call the banks and have the banks cough it up.”
An NCS spokesman , Joseph Attah, said: “The exercise is not intended to be punitive or to embarrass anyone but to ensure that these private jets that operate in the country are properly documented. And also, to ensure every collectable revenue is collected into the coffers of the federal government.”
The Temporary Importation regime is provided to allow the entry of special machinery into Nigeria on short term basis. A one-year permit is provided with the option of further renewals at six month intervals. After two years the assets, in this case aircraft, has to physically leave the country before reapplication is available.
As well as building revenue, the verification has enabled the NCS to differentiate aircraft in the country on commercial operations from those owned and used for private purposes.
Attah also said that following a two-week extension to the deadline, which had prompted many owners to come forward, the NCS had given another two-week extension. This extension runs from from Monday, July 26th until today (Friday, August 6th). But this will be the last extension and whoever fails to verify their aircraft will have it impounded, said Attah.