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Customs

Customs grounds 91 private jets owned by Pastors, business tycoons over N30 billion import duty debts

CGC, Ali

Eyewitness reporter

The Nigeria Customs Service has wielded the big stick over the debtor private jet owners in the country by ordering the grounding of their cruise machines.

In a letter written by the Comptroller-General of the Service, Col(rtd) Hameed Ali dated November 2nd, 2021, and dispatched to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Customs boss asked the three aviation agencies to stop the operations of the affected private jets for refusing to pay over N30bn import duties.

Ali also asked the three agencies to indefinitely deny the private jets administrative and operational flight clearances until they offset their debts.

He stated that the service decided to ground the operations of the affected private jets after it was discovered that the import duties on the carriers have not been paid since 2006.

some of the grounded jets

However, some of the private jet owners said to include pastors, business Moguls, and others,  protested the Customs’ directive, arguing they cannot pay import duties on the planes because the jets are under lease payments.

The Customs High command was said to have berated the jet owners for allegedly fraudulently exporting their jets under questionable documentation processes and refusing to pay import duties in the past 10 years.

The letter reads: “The Federal Government in its drive for enhanced revenue has mandated the Nigeria Customs Service to immediately recover from defaulting private aircraft owners the required statutory import duties on their imported aircraft.

“You may wish to recall the verification exercise conducted by the NCS, initially scheduled for a 14 day period, but magnanimously extended over a 60-day period from 7th June through 6 August 2021, following a World Press Conference held on 31st May 2021.

” The outcome of the aforementioned verification exercise is a compilation of all private aircraft imported into the country without payment of statutory import duty.

“The Nigeria Custom Service, in line with its statutory functions, is empowered by Part 111 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 & 174 of the Customs and Excise Management Act.

“In this regard, therefore, your full cooperation is being solicited to ensure the success of this initiative and that all such private aircraft owners or representatives are denied administrative and operational flight clearances indefinitely until an NCS issued Aircraft Clearance Certificate is procured and presented to your organisation as proof of compliance.

“For the avoidance of doubt, ALL aircraft operated in accordance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s regulation for the issuance of Permit for Non-Commercial Flight and those issued with Flight Operations Clearance Certificate and Maintenance Clearance Certificate accordingly are affected by this directive.

“Please find attached the list of all verified aircraft and indeed others of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s register, which may not have come forward for your record and necessary action.

“Strict compliance with this directive is to be ensured. Please accept the assurances of my highest regards and esteem as always.”

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Customs

Exclusive! Mass retirement hits Customs as 549 officers bow out of service in 2023

CGC, Ali

 

Break down; DCG( I), ACG (6),Comptrollers(30), DC(68) AC (110),CSC(133),SC (52),DSC(79) ,ASC1(58) ,ASC11(11),CA1(1)

Eyewitness reporter

A whirlwind  of retirement has hit the Nigeria Customs Service as 549 officers of different cadres have been penciled down for statutory retirement in 2023,

In a circular no HRD/2022/13 sighted by our reporter, the breakdown of the affected officers shows that 1 DCG, 6 ACG, 30 Comptrollers, 68 Deputy Comptrollers, 110 Assistant Comptrollers, 133 Chief Superintendent of Customs, 52 Superintendent of Customs, 79 Deputy Superintendents, 58 Assistant Superintendent of Customs1, 11 Assistant Superintendent of CustomsII and 1 Customs AssistantI, were due for retirement in 2023.

According to the circular dated May 10th, 2022 with reference number NCS/ADM/EST/098/S.1 and signed by OM Agbara, Comptroller of Establishment for AG. Deputy Comptroller-General (HDR), the affected officers, who are being shipped out of the service on account of age or number of years in the service, are advised to proceed on three months pre-retirement leave, three months to the effective date of their retirement.

The circular titled list of Officers/men for statutory retirement in the year 2023” reads

”I am directed to forward the attached list on the above subject matter as pre-retirement notice to all affected officers.
” ln accordance with the Public service Rule (PSR) No. 100238 and Federal Government circular No.63216/S.i/X/T; CR 1,/2OO1/5 of 2O/O3/2OOl, all affected officers due for retirement in 2023 are to disengage from the active service and proceed on three (3)months pre-retirement leave, three months to the effective date of retirement.
” AII affected officers are to ensure compliance and forward their three months pre-retirement notice to the Comptroller-General
accordingly.
” Any observed error, omission, or legitimate complaints should be forwarded to the office of the Comptroller General of Customs through the Ag. Deputy Comptroller-General (HRD) on or before 30th June 2022.
” Zonal Coordinators, Area Controllers, and Unit Heads are requested to make the list available for circulation to all the affected officers in their respective Zones, Areas, and Units
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Customs

Customs High Command interdicts officers over assault on Gov. Okonwa’s aide

Eyewitness reporter
The management of the Nigeria Customs Service has reacted to the viral video where a member of the roving team of the FOU Zone ‘C’ assaulted an unarmed civilian.
In the press statement signed by Timi Bomodi, the National Public Relations Officer of the service, the Customs High Command expressed outrage over the conduct of its officer and said the offending officer and other members of his team have been withdrawn from their patrol duties and placed under administrative investigation.
“The attention of the Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a video making the rounds on social media.
“In it, one of our officers was recorded assaulting an unarmed civilian.
“This action took place on the Benin – Agbor expressway on Saturday the 7th of May 2022 at about 5.00 pm.
“This officer and other members of that team from FOU Zone ‘C’ have since been withdrawn from patrol duties and are currently under administrative investigation at the NCS Zonal Headquarters Zone ‘C’ Port Harcourt.
“Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service have been trained to carry out their duties with dignity and respect, and are expected to display decorum in all their conduct at all times.
“Where they fail to carry out their brief as assigned, appropriate sanctions are applied to enforce discipline.
” The NCS would like to reassure the general public of its commitment to the welfare and safety of all citizens and frowns seriously at any act by its personnel capable of misrepresenting its corporate image.
“We ask that all law-abiding persons go about their activities without fear of intimidation or harassment as we work assiduously to bring closure to this unwholesome incident” the statement concluded.
In the viral video which has sparked public outrage, a Customs Officer attached to the roving team of the Custom’s FOU Zone C, was seen slapping a civilian identified as Samson Nwachukwu,  an aide to the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okonwa, along Benin/ Agbor expressway Saturday, May 7th, 2022.
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Customs

Drama as Customs officer slaps Gov Okowa’s aide along Benin/Agbor expressway (Video)

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