Govt, rakes in N10b from 146 jet owners

The Federal Government is reaping over N10 billion from operators of the 146 private jets in Nigeria, Woleshadarenews has learnt. 
As at August 2016, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) confirmed that there are 146 corporate jets in the country of which only 46 were registered in Nigeria while 100 have foreign registration.
The total amount in taxes, charges, over-flier, landing and parking, according to a jet owner who spoke to this newspaper under condition of anonymity, is over N10 billion annually.
The source further disclosed that the taxes could be high as N47.9 billion should the Federal Government make good its plan to go ahead to add luxury taxes on foreign and indigenous jet owners, as well as first class and business class passengers in the country.
With 146 private jet used for both private and commercial operations, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) charges N15,000 navigation fees for a return trip for each jet. Most times, these airplanes could do more than six trips, depending on the schedule of the owners or the number of charter they engage in.
Landing fees cost between N3,000 and N5,000 for each touch down and more for large commercial aircraft that pay between N12,000 and N15,000 depending on the weight of the aircraft.
Private Jets
Taking an average maximum take-off weight of 13,000kg per jet and using the N3,000 surcharge, the Federal Government generates approximately N41.6 million annually from each private jet owner.
 If this is multiplied by the 146 private jets in the country, the government is expected to generate about N7.5 billion from the sector, excluding other charges.
An air traffic controller said night landing costs more because of so many factors which he did not disclose. Private jet owners pay N3,000 for hourly parking of their aircraft in any airport across the country and according to the weight of airplane.
The implication is that, whether the airplanes are flown or not, the owners and operators do not stop paying, as aircraft cannot be parked outside an aerodrome.
Some of the common brands and models of the private jets in Nigeria are the Bombardier Challenger 604 and 605; Global Express, Global 6000; Hawker Siddley 125 and 900; Gulfstream 450, 550 and 650; Embraer Legacy, Fenum and Citation.
Other jets that are very common with wealthy Nigerians are the Hawker Sidley, Embraer and Bombardier, which cost range between $25 million and $40 million.
The Gulfstream G650, said to be state-of-the art, costs $65 million. It’s the biggest, fastest, and overall best private jet money can buy. Many wealthy Nigerians own this aircraft type. Most jet owners switch jets every four to five years.
It cost between $1.2 million and $4 million per year to run private aircraft. Over 30 of these jets converged on Minna Airport last Friday when the daughter of former Military President Ibrahim Babangida got married as affluent Nigerians flew in their jets.
A former Assistant Secretary- General of Airline Operators of Nigeria, Mohammed Tukur, told our correspondent that the cost of flying a jet can vary from $1 million to $100 million. He said some of the other costs are a bit more consistent.
“You can crew the aircraft for around $5,000 per day, fuel is obviously proportional to distance travelled; i.e. fuel from Lagos to Maiduguri or Kano might cost around N2 million.”
Tukur, who is highly experienced on operation of private jets, stated that maintenance tends to run around $250,000 per quarter.
Quarterly, the 146 operators spend roughly $36.5 million and $146 million annually just for maintenance of their luxury jets, excluding fuel, crew salaries, airport charges and other taxes.
He said: “In my experience this is consistent regardless of how often the jet is flown. Also, you usually have a management company take care of the jet.
They also manage time sharing the jet to other companies/people. I don’t remember the cost of this service, but I think it can reach $150,000 per year. “As a very rough estimate, budget between $1 million and $2 million per year for ownership costs, plus your loan payment.
The maximum take-off weight of the common brands and models ranges from 8,000kg to over 17,000kg.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government is said to be perfecting plans to impose luxury tax on foreign and indigenous private jet owners as well as first class and business class passengers in the country.
The government mooted the idea last year as measures to tackle the huge revenue gap created by the slump in crude oil prices as well as the decline in production.
The government had proposed that in view of the increasing foreign travels by Nigerians, all first class and business class tickets abroad would attract a flat rate of N15,000 each as foreign travel surcharge.
Wole Shadare