Connect with us

News Feed

FG puts up N7bn presidential jets for sale

Published

on

5

Olalekan Adetayo, Oyetunji Abioye, Nnodim Okechukwu and Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

The Presidency on Tuesday confirmed that newspaper advertisements for the sale of two presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7X executive jet and Hawker 4000, were duly authorised by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed this in a statement made available to journalists.

Shehu said the decision to sell the jets was in line with the directive of the President that aircraft in the Presidential Air Fleet should be reduced to cut down on waste.

He explained that the reduction would not end with the sale of the two jets.

The presidential spokesman said some aircraft in the fleet would also soon be handed over to the Nigeria Air Force for its operations.

Shehu said, “When he campaigned to be President, the then APC candidate Muhammadu Buhari, if you recall, promised to look at the Presidential Air Fleet with a view to cutting down on waste.

“His directive to a government committee on this assignment is that he likes to see a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the President, the Vice-President and other government officials that go on special missions.

“This exercise is by no means complete. I am sure the Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet will any time from now call you to a ceremony at which he will hand over some other aircraft to the Air Force for their operations.”

According to the Presidency, PAF currently has 10 aircraft. These are: Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or AirForce One), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Sidley 4000, two AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopters and two AgustaWestland AW 101 helicopters.

Each of the two Falcon 7X jets were purchased in 2010 by the Federal Government for $51.1m, while the Gulfstream 550 costs $53.3m, a former Minister of Information, the late Prof. Dora Akunyili, had said.

The price of other aircraft in the fleet could not be ascertained. But according to Wikipedia, price.wescrawler.com and airline executives, the factory price of other aircraft in the fleet are: Boeing Business Jet, $59m; HS 4000, $22.9m; AgustaWestland 139, $12m; and AgusatWestland 101, $21m.

This brings a combined estimated value of Nigeria’s PAF to $347.4m (N106.13bn).

Quoting a document from the Presidency, SATURDAY PUNCH had reported recently that despite the biting economic recession in the country, the Federal Government spent N5bn on the 10-aicraft PAF in the last 15 months.

According to the document, the Presidency put the amount so far released for the fleet since the inception of the current administration in May 2015 at N5bn.

The breakdown of the sum showed that N2.3bn was released for PAF by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation between May and November 2015.

That figure included releases for personnel costs, overheads and capital expenditures; out of the N5.19bn appropriated for PAF in the 2015 budget.

Of the sum, the Presidency said N99.715m was spent on aircraft maintenance, spares and subscription services.

The sum of N98.5m was also spent on operations; N165.373m on training and N85.5m on personnel medicals and overheads.

During the period, the document claimed that PAF spent N1.350bn to settle outstanding liabilities carried over from 2014 while N500m was refunded to the NSA for financial support rendered for the maintenance of the Fleet prior to release of funds.

According to the newspaper advertisement announcing the sale of the two aircraft, the Falcon 7X with registration number 5N-FGU and serial number 090 is currently located in Abuja.

It indicated that the aircraft entered into service in 2011 and had completed 2776:47 hours and 2363 cycles.

The advertisement read in part, “Take off at sea level — 5, 555 ft; landing distance — 2,070ft; certified ceiling — 51, 000ft; cruise speed — 488kts; Easy II Avionics 1A Complainct/Satcom. Interior: Passenger capacity — 16, crew seating capacity — 3; forward and Aft lavatories; four large screen monitors; six small adjustable seat mounted monitors and fully automated media centre.”

The second aircraft, Hawker 4000 with registration number 5N-FGX and serial number RC 066 entered into service in 2012. It has completed 1178:15 hours and 1146 cycles.

Its details were given thus: “Range — 3190NM; take off at sea level — 5,068 ft; landing distance — 2,475ft; certified ceiling — 45, 000ft; cruise speed — 482kts; Honeywell Primus Epic Avionics/Satcom. Interior: Passenger capacity — 9, crew seating capacity – 3 with detachable jump seat; Aft lavatories; two monitors; power outlet in cabin and cockpit and fully automated media centre.”

Meanwhile, aviation stakeholders have supported the Presidency’s move to sell the aircraft.

The General Secretary, Aviation Round Table, an industry pressure group, Group Captain John Ojikutu, who supported the move, said, “It is high time the Presidency reduced the number of aircraft in that fleet. We can’t be spending our scarce forex to maintain a large fleet of 10 aircraft.”

A former Assistant General Secretary, Airline Operators of Nigeria, Mr. Muhammed Tukur, also supported the move, saying the aircraft could be sold to both airline operators and private individuals who could use them for commercial purposes.

He said that this could generate more revenue and create jobs.

A former President of the Airline Operators of Nigeria, Dr. Steve Mahonwu, stated that instead of selling the aircraft, the Federal Government should hold on until it was ready to float a national carrier and should then make the planes serve the airline.

He said, “Are we not ashamed that several years after the demise of our Nigerian Airways, we still don’t have an airline we can call our own? Instead of selling these aircraft, why not hold on till when you are ready for a national carrier?

“The President promised to reduce the Presidential fleet size and that’s okay. He has also assured Nigerians that he will ensure the return of our national carrier. So instead of selling the aircraft in the Presidential fleet, you can convert some of them and use them as jets in the national carrier.”

But Capt. Dele Ore of the Aviation Round Table, a body of industry experts, told our correspondent that it would not be right to sell the aircraft without carrying out adequate studies to ascertain if truly the Presidency would not need them any longer.

According to him, the two aircraft in question would not be fit for full-scale commercial service.

Source: Punch

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News Feed

Police arrest 10 suspects in Akwa Ibom

Published

on

Police arrest 10 suspects in Akwa Ibom

No fewer than 10 suspects have been arrested by the Akwa Ibom State Police Command for destruction and looting of government properties in the state.

 

This was made known by the State Commissioner of Police, CP Amiegheme Andrew, while fielding questions from Journalists on Saturday.

He said: “It is with a heart full of pains that I address you today. The events of the last 24 hours has given me and every concerned Akwa Ibomite a great course for concern. As the lead Agency in internal security, we have great respect for peaceful protest and we have acted professionally during its progression in the State,” he said.

“However, yesterday, some youths with evil intentions in the guise of # ENDSARS went about vandalizing, looting and burning some Government and private property including the Akwa Ibom State Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC), Anchor Insurance, De Choice Shopping Mall, L.G showroom, and Access Bank Plc,”

“I have visited all the said places today with my Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, DCP Auwal M. Mohammad, and have made an on-the-spot assessment of damages done.
I commend the State Government’s timely intervention through the imposition of curfew as I today went round to ensure strict compliance, and we will continue to do so.

“Gentlemen of the press, am however delighted to inform you that our quick deployment of Anti-Riot Policemen in conjunction with the efforts of sister security agencies such as the Army and DSS, and the efforts of the State Government has restored normalcy in Uyo and the State in general.

However, the Command’s efforts have yielded positive results leading to the arrest of the following persons:

I. Victor Udoeka Effiong ‘m’
ii. Emediong Michael James ‘f’
iii. Imedimfon Ime James ‘m’
iv. Isaac John Udoh ‘m’
v. Sunday Michael James ‘m’
vi. Wisdom Godswill Reuben ‘m’
vii. Ntiefon Ime Robbert
viii. Akaninyene Abraham Livinus ‘m’
ix. Imoh Enobong Sunday
x. Isaac Sunday Udo ‘m’,

The Command also recovered fourteen Deep Freezers, six Refrigerators, eight flat Screen Televisions.

Others are:

Four (4) water dispensers,
Sixteen (16) bags of rice,
Four (4) Air conditions,
Three ( 3 ) Gas Cookers,
A printer, Tables, chairs, and other items

The CP further said: “The Command will stop at nothing in ensuring that all the looted items are recovered. Lastly, while I thank the good people of the State for their peaceful disposition and continued partnership, I wish to call on the perpetrators of these dastardly acts to desist forthwith and toe the part of peace, or be willing to bear the full weight of the law, as the Command under my watch will not allow anyone to derail the peaceful nature of the State henceforth.”

Continue Reading

News Feed

“When political rallies turn violent, you don’t hear that thugs have hijacked the election” – Seun Kuti

Published

on

“When political rallies turn violent, you don’t hear that thugs have hijacked the election” – Seun Kuti

Nigerian musician, Seun Kuti has slammed politicians who never say thugs hijacked elections.

The 37-year-old lashed out politicians who were quick to say that thugs hijacked the protest but can’t say the same when elections are hijacked. He opined that  politicians mostly use thugs and must have been behind the hijacked protest.

Speaking to Arise TV, he expressed his anger on the fact that some rich people associate themselves with violence and still get hailed by some other citizens.

“When political rallies turn violent, you don’t hear that thugs have hijacked the election. Rich Nigerians express themselves with violence all the time but we still call them ‘Your Excellency’ and ‘Honorable’ after they throw chairs and tantrums”, he said.

Continue Reading

News Feed

Stolen Oba’s staff of office: Lagos ruling house issues ultimatum

Published

on

Stolen Oba's staff of office: Lagos ruling house issues ultimatum

The Akinshemoyin ruling house of Lagos Island has broken silence over the staff office of Oba of Lagos stolen by hoodlums during the Wednesday rage over the killing of peaceful protesters at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos.

The hoodlums had overturned Oba Rilwan Akiolu’s palace and carted away his staff of office.

Videos of some young men running out of the palace with the staff of the office were shared online.

The Oba of Lagos is yet to receive his staff of the office and the palace has asked that it be returned. Speaking in an interview with Arise TV on Friday, October 23, the chairman of the Isale Eko Descendants Union, Prince Yomi Tokosi said

The statement reads in full:

“Though we are in total support of the peaceful protest of the Nigerian youths tagged: #EndSARS #EndPoliceBrutality, we, Lagosians condemn with all sense of responsibility the gruesome murder of Nigerians, the hijack of the peaceful protest by hoodlums, destruction of public infrastructural facilities and property across the nation.

“We also condemn the looting of our traditional and ancestral heritage as it relates to the Oba of Lagos Palace; especially the carting away of the staff of office. We will not allow miscreants to destroy our Lagos ‘Onilu Onije Otu’.

“The acts of these elements are sacrilegious, taboo and abomination to the Yoruba race. These nefarious misfits’ conducts could lead to mayhem in the land if not timely checked and tranquility restored.

“We hereby call on the paramount Apena of Oshugbo, Opa, Akala and other traditional heads and custodians to immediately secure the Oba’s palace from further attack(s) in order to save the face of our traditional stool.

“The royal house, however called for the return of the stolen staff of authority to be deposited at the Apena of Lagos within 24 hours or the deviants will face the consequences of their action. A word is enough for the wise.”

Continue Reading

Trending