FG Puts Up Three Presidential Aircraft For Sale

The federal government has decided to sell three ageing presidential aircraft so as to gather funds to purchase a new one.

It was gathered that the decision will also reduce excessive spending on fleet maintenance for the aircraft which are currently unused.

The latest development comes as the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence recommended the purchase of two new aircraft for President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima.

Despite the recommendation by lawmakers for the purchase of two new aircraft, officials say the government cannot afford it, and will instead use the sale proceeds to augment the cost of a new jet.

The sale of the three aircraft will reduce the number of jets in the presidential air fleet by half, from six aeroplanes and four helicopters to three.

The fleet, maintained by the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF), includes a Boeing 737 Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), a Gulfstream G550, a Gulfstream GV, two Falcon 7x, and one Challenger CL605.

However, insiders reveal that at least half of the fleet is unserviceable or failing, necessitating the need to dispose of the burdensome aircraft. The jets slated for sale are a Boeing 737 BBJ, a Gulfstream, and a Falcon 7x.

“We saw the report and recommendation by the lawmakers. But the truth of the matter is that we can not afford to buy two aircraft at a go, even though we are selling off others. The approval now is to find one whose cost is not too much that we can augment with what we raise from this sale,” a government insider said.

It is understood that the federal government has appointed JetHQ, a US-based airline marketer, to broker the sale. Proceeds from the sale will go towards procuring a new jet, for which a search is ongoing.

Although offers for the ageing aircraft have been received, it is yet to be sold.

“Yes, we have received two offers for the BBJ and one for the Falcon X. But the NSA insisted that we must press for a better deal instead of rushing to have a bad deal for the government,” a Presidential Air Force (PAF) official involved with the process said.

This was also confirmed by Zakari Mijinyawa, a spokesman for the National Security Adviser (NSA).

Note that the President's BBJ aircraft has been undergoing maintenance since March. Recent incidents involving faulty aircraft have forced the President and Vice President to use commercial and chartered planes for their travel.

Tinubu used a private airplane for his latest trip to South Africa.

Last updated on July 15th, 2024 at 11:56 pm

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