July 18, 2024

Nigeria is moving to sell three of its older presidential jets to curb excessive spending on maintenance, according to a report by TheCable.

The decision, aimed at reducing the fleet size by half, follows recommendations from lawmakers for the acquisition of two new aircraft for the president and vice-president.

The presidential air fleet currently comprises six airplanes and four helicopters, managed by the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) under the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). Sources indicate that several of these aircraft are unserviceable, prompting the sale of those deemed most burdensome.

The aircraft earmarked for sale include a Boeing 737 Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), a Gulfstream, and a Falcon 7x. JetHQ, a US-based airline marketer, has been appointed as the broker for the sale, with the Nigerian government granting them exclusive rights to value and market the jets.

Proceeds from the sale will likely contribute to the procurement of a replacement jet, as ongoing efforts are underway to find a suitable replacement without straining government finances. While bids have already been submitted for the aircraft, the NSA is prioritizing securing a favorable deal.

Zakari Mijinyawa, a spokesperson for the NSA, confirmed the sale process without elaborating further. The debate surrounding the condition of Nigeria’s presidential air fleet has escalated due to recent incidents, including maintenance issues affecting the president’s BBJ and operational challenges faced by other government officials.

Despite calls for new aircraft to enhance safety and efficiency, concerns persist about the economic implications amidst broader financial constraints. Lawmakers emphasize the importance of ensuring the safety of all citizens, including government officials, in determining the future of the presidential air fleet.

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