Customs demand private aircraft papers to boost revenue

By Amarachi Orjiude

The Nigerian Customs Service has directed all private aircraft owners in the country to present relevant importation clearance documents to the agency for verification.

The service’s Deputy Comptroller, Joseph Attah, disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday.

Attah said failure to comply with the verification mandate would be met with appropriate sanctions.

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, the Nigeria Customs Service will be taking stock of all privately-owned aircraft in the country.

“Consequently, the Nigeria Customs Service, in line with its statutory functions as provided for in Part III sections 27, 35, 37, 45, 46, 47, 52, 56, 63 & 64; Part XI Sections 144, 145, 155, 160, 161 & 164 and Part XII Sections 167, 168, 169, 173 and 174 of the Customs and Excise Management Act, hereby invites all owners of private aircraft in the country to come forward with their relevant importation clearance documents for verification.”

Attah clarified that the purpose of the verification process was not to compel aircraft owners to commence paying customs duties, but to ensure the payment of other mandatory charges such as the Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme.

He added, “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 that nothing untoward happened.”

He added that the verification process will commence on June 7 and end on July 6, 2021.

It was also disclosed at the briefing that the NCS generated N799,024,705,961 between January 1 and May 30, 2021; N226,110,610,991.00 higher than the revenue aggregated in the corresponding period of the previous year.

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