Private Jet Operators Held Accountable For Taxes In Nigeria

Private Jet Operators Held Accountable For Taxes In Nigeria. As part of efforts to root out imported aircraft that lack the necessary documentation to ensure proper imports and optimal revenue generation, the federal government of Nigeria has started a clampdown on private jet owners.

Private jet owners suspected of dabbling in sundry high jinks have been accused of costing the government a huge chunk of vital revenue while they enjoy their jet-set lifestyles.

According to reports, the Nigeria Customs Service has told approximately 80 private jet operators to report to its headquarters in Abuja to present their documents.

Such documents include the aircraft Certificate of Registration, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s Flight Operation Compliance Certificate, Maintenance Compliance Certificate, Permit for Non-Commercial Flights, and Temporary Import Permit.

The special aircraft import verification exercise is slated to last 30 days, and jet operators must complete the process within this period.

This operation is not the first of its kind. Back in 2021, the NCS ordered aviation authorities to ground 91 aircraft suspected of not having proper documentation, to recoup an estimated N30 billion in unpaid import duties.

However, that did not come to pass, as the relevant agencies could not agree on what to do.

The whole thing was later suspended following the action of some owners who went to court using their offshore proxies and shell companies to challenge the suitability of duty payment on their aircraft.

This particular incident emphasizes the under-regulation of the aviation industry, which enables operators and some affluent individuals to cheat the treasury.

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Back in April, the Federal Government had threatened to ground the private jets and revoke the licenses of owners who got Permits for Non-Commercial Flights for their private jets but turned around and started operating these aircraft commercially.

It is awful how other vehicle owners are disturbed daily and penalised for not having the relevant documents while jets worth millions operate without proper documentation.

A private jet is an ultra-luxury asset and the government should make the owners bear the complete costs of their choices instead of living off the public purse by evading taxes and other levies that have to do with owning a private jet.

According to the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, this move by the government is a great plan.

The way Nigerian private jet operators treat taxes and levies would not be accepted in the United States, which has 15,000 registered private jets.

He continued that the government must not be seen as coddling billionaires infamous in Nigeria for not paying the right amount of taxes.

They must avoid any form of nepotism and ensure that these rich operators pay their share of taxes.