- About 29 private jets owned by Nigerian organisations are registered in South Africa
- This was revealed by the chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service ( FIRS) Babatunde Fowler
- Nigerians are one of the highest owners of private jets in the world
The chairman of FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, has revealed that about 29 private jets owned by Nigerian organisations are registered in South Africa.
Fowler made the revelation at the weekend at a 3-day Automatic Exchange of Information Foundation course for selected African countries in Lagos, Daily Trust reports.
His words: “As the council chairperson of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), I found out that Nigerian organizations have 29 private jets registered in South Africa. The issue is that, how much tax do they pay here?”
“We are not talking about the issue of how they got the money to buy the jets. The issues as to their source will be dealt with latter on. The more we work together through automatic exchange of information, the better for all of us.”
Addressing the call for Nigeria to take up membership of the global forum on transparency and information exchange for tax purposes, Fowler said, “The honest truth is that, some politicians or some ‘parties’ who have these assets outside may not really be interested in this automatic exchange but at the end of the day, it is to the benefit of each host country.”
NAIJ.com checks revealed that the issue of Nigerian-owned jets being registered outside the country is not a new phenomenon.
In August 2015, the then Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Muhktar Usman told journalists that out of 146 corporate jets in the country, only 46 were registered in Nigeria while 100 had foreign registration.
Aviation experts say Nigeria’s private jet owners prefer it, because aircraft lose their resale value if they are registered in Nigeria over fears of maintenance standards.
A private jet maintenance costs about $500,000 to $1 million US dollars (N30 billion naira) for a year, depending on the size of the aircraft.
As at March 2014, it was reported that Nigerians spent over $6.5 billion dollars on private jets, making it one of the fastest-growing luxury jet industries in the world.
Some prominent Nigerians who are private jet owners include, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, Senator Ali Modu Sherrif, Mr Femi Otedola, Pastor Ayo Orisetjafor, Otunba Mike Adenuga, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Folorunsho Alakija, Prophet TB Joshua amongst others.
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Recently, about 30 private jets conveyed prominent Nigerians to Minna, the Niger state capital, for the wedding ceremony of General Ibrahim Babangida's daughter.
Watch the NAIJ.com TV report on the firepower of the Nigerian Air Force below: