Customs Moves to Identify Nigerian Billionaires, Pastors With Improperly Imported Private Jets

Customs Moves to Identify Nigerian Billionaires, Pastors With Improperly Imported Private Jets

  • The Nigeria Customs Service has launched a verification exercise to determine improperly imported aircraft in Nigeria
  • The Customs said the one-month-long verification exercise is to ensure adherence to regulatory guidelines and drive revenue
  • The NCS listed documents needed for verification and said the private aircraft owners would present them at its headquarters in Abuja

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has launched a thorough verification exercise targeting private jet owners operating in Nigeria.

The plan, disclosed in a statement signed by the Customs management, aims to identify private aircraft improperly imported without required documentation.

Private jet owners under scrutiny. NCAA, FAAN
Nigeria Customs launches verification exercise for aircraft Credit: Flashpop
Source: Getty Images

Customs seeks to boost revenue

The Customs said it aims to ensure adherence to import protocols and boost revenue generation.

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Reports say the statement said that by identifying and addressing undocumented aircraft, Customs seeks to enhance regulatory compliance in the aviation industry.

According to the statement, the verification is important for maintaining the integrity of Nigeria’s airspace and aims to streamline the import process and boost operational efficiency.

Customs said:

“This exercise aims to identify improperly imported private aircraft without documentation, ensuring proper imports and maximum revenue collection,” the statement read in part. 

Customs announces date for verification

In addition, NCS said that the verification exercise for private aircraft in Nigeria will occur from Wednesday, June 19, to July 19, 2024.

The Customs said the verification programmes would be held at the Tariff and Trade Department Room at its service headquarters in Abuja.

Airlines abandon aircraft at maintenance facilities

The development comes amid a report that Nigerian airlines abandon their aircraft at maintenance facilities due to high costs.

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ThisDay reports that over 50% of Nigerian airlines' aircraft are parked at airports or maintenance facilities in Nigeria or overseas, leading to a reduction in capacity and a hike in airfares as the airlines continue to cut operational costs.

The development has led to fears of domestic operations being grounded at the risk of reducing operations that may negatively impact Nigeria’s economic activities.

Analysts believe that the challenges faced by forex are responsible for development.

Qatar Airways, and other foreign airlines crash airfare reported that foreign airlines operating the Lagos-London route have now crashed their ticket prices below the rates charged by Air Peace, the only Nigerian airline operating the route.

An earlier report by showed that foreign airlines had significantly reduced their fares on the Lagos-London route since Air Peace began operating it on March 30, 2024.

Experts have attributed the airfare crash to the naira’s appreciation, but Air Peace has said that foreign airlines are trying to sabotage it.


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Pascal Oparada (Business editor) Pascal Oparada is a Mass Communications Graduate from Yaba College of Technology with over 10 years of experience in journalism. He has worked in reputable media organizations such as Daily Independent, TheNiche newspaper, and the Nigerian Xpress. He is a 2018 PwC Media Excellence Award winner.