Government official inspects documents with private jets parked at an airport in the background.

FG Summons 80 Private Jet Owners Over Import Duty Papers

The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), has initiated a new crackdown on improperly imported private jets. This move aims to ensure proper documentation and maximize revenue collection from import duties. The exercise will involve 80 private jet operators presenting their import documents at the NCS headquarters in Abuja.

Key Takeaways

  • The verification exercise will last for 30 days.
  • 80 private jet operators are expected to participate.
  • The exercise aims to identify improperly imported private aircraft and ensure proper import documentation.
  • Operators must present specific documents, including the aircraft Certificate of Registration and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s (NCAA) Flight Operation Compliance Certificate.


The Federal Government’s latest initiative comes more than a year after a similar action was suspended. Over the past three years, the government has aimed to recover billions of naira in import duties from private jet operators who have exploited technical loopholes to evade payment. The NCS had previously taken significant steps to recover this revenue, but many operators have yet to comply.

The Verification Exercise

The special aircraft import verification exercise is scheduled to begin on Wednesday and will last for 30 days. The NCS has issued a public notice detailing the requirements for the exercise. Private jet owners and operators must present the following documents:

  • Aircraft Certificate of Registration
  • NCAA’s Flight Operation Compliance Certificate
  • NCAA’s Maintenance Compliance Certificate
  • NCAA’s Permit for Non-Commercial Flights
  • Temporary Import Permit (if applicable)

Past Efforts and Legal Challenges

In 2021, about 17 owners of foreign-registered private jets, including top business moguls and leading commercial banks, took the Federal Government to court to stop the grounding of their planes over alleged import duty defaults. The NCS had directed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency to ground the affected private jets, but inter-agency disagreements prevented this action.

Financial Implications

The government could potentially collect close to N100 billion in unpaid import duties on imported private aircraft, especially if the NCS implements a 25% penalty fee for delayed payments. This fee would be in addition to the statutory 5% import duty. However, it remains unclear whether private aircraft operators will cooperate with the government to pay these duties.


The NCS is determined to ensure maximum revenue collection for the Federal Government. The verification exercise aims to close loopholes that have allowed private jet operators to evade import duties. The outcome of this exercise could significantly impact the aviation sector and the government’s revenue collection efforts.


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