Buhari Orders Disposal Of Nine Presidential Aircrafts


President Muhammadu Buhari  in keeping to his pre-election promises of cutting government cost has ordered the disposal of nine aircraft in the presidential fleet

The Nigerian presidential fleet comprises some 16 aircraft. A few are unserviceable and need to be disposed of completely. While some are serviceable, they are maintained at humongous cost to the federation account and President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that a chunk of them be sold off, according to a ThisDay report.

According to the Daily:

Industry sources informed THISDAY that the presidential fleet, which are registered as Nigerian Air Force aircraft, is one of the largest in Africa and the third largest in Nigeria after Arik Air and Aerocontractors.

An aviation source, who is aware of the directive to sell the aircraft said the presidency has a number of serviceable and unserviceable aircraft that need to be disposed of in order to reduce the amount spent by the federal government for aircraft maintenance annually.

“Nine, which still have market value, are to be sold immediately to reduce maintenance costs,” he said.

For years, the federal government has spent over N12 billion annually for the maintenance of the presidential fleet.

Some of the aircraft in the presidential fleet include the Boeing 738 BBJ, NAF 001 or Eagle One, two Gulfstream 550 jets which can seat eight to 18 passengers depending on the configuration, two Dassault Falcon 7X jets, one Hawker Siddeley 125-800 and one Cessna 550 Citation II.

Others are two Dassault Falcon 900 jets, a Gulfstream IVSP, a Gulfstream V, a Dornier Do 228, which can carry 19 passengers, one Beechcraft King Air B200, and three AugustaWestland AW139 helicopters.

Sources said each of the two Dassault Falcon 7X jets were purchased for $51.1 million in 2010 while the Gulfstream 550 cost $53.3 million, according to ThisDay.

Aviation experts also put the average price of the Falcon 900 at $35 million; Gulfstream IVSP at $40 million; Gulfstream V at $45 million; Cessna Citation at $7 million; and the Hawker Siddeley at $15 million.

This move by the president has created a buzz on social media with many hailing the president’s decision as a welcomed one.