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Private jet owners scramble to meet 30-day deadline to avoid tax evasion


Private jet owners scramble to meet 30-day deadline to avoid tax evasion

Uneasy calm now hovers around private jet owners over moves by the federal government to commence investigation into the operation of improper imported private jets into the country and a clampdown on operators.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) had given a 30-day window period for the affected operators to regularise their documents.

Although no clear sanction has been issued, sources at the NCS headquarters disclosed that operators who failed to meet the 30-day deadline would have their aircraft grounded and their operational licences withdrawn.

Presently, those affected by the move are jostling to beat the deadline.

At least, 80 operators of private jets are expected to appear at the headquarters of the NCS in Abuja with their aircraft import documents.

It was reported that 91 out of 147 identified owners and operators of private jets in the country failed the verification test conducted by the NCS in 2021.

READ ALSO: FG calls in 80 private jet owners for scrutiny of operating licences

Upon this discovery, the Nigeria Customs Service had in June 2021 threatened to detain private aircraft whose owners are yet to validate their documentation in line with federal government’s revalidation policy.

Those likely affected are top pastors, business moguls, banks and chief executive officers of oil firms.

Daily Trust had in May 2022 reported that the Nigeria Customs Service said it has so far generated N2 billion from the revalidation of documents of private aircraft across the country.

The fresh directive is the second time in the last three years that such threat would be issued by the government.

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, had earlier in the year revealed plans to take firm action against private jet owners who illegally use their planes for commercial purposes, including grounding the jets and revoking their licenses.

A notice issued by the Nigeria Customs Service states that the special aircraft import verification exercise, which begins on Wednesday (today), is expected to last for 30 days, according to a public notice issued by the Service.

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