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FG to sell 3 presidential jetsFG to sell 3 presidential jets

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The move by the Presidency to buy a new presidential aircraft for the use of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has reached an advanced stage as the federal government has put up three aircraft in the presidential fleet for sale. 

The National Assembly has recently prepared ground for the presidency to buy a new jet after the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence recommended the purchase of new aircraft citing the safety of the number one citizen. 

In May, the House of Representatives ordered the committee to investigate the state of the presidential air fleet following reports of the president using chartered flights when his aircraft, the popular 001 jet, developed a fault. 

The committee in its report said, “The committee is of the strong and informed opinion that considering the fragile structure of the Nigerian federation and recognising the dire consequences of any foreseen or unforeseen mishap that may arise as a result of the technical or operational inadequacy of the presidential air fleet, it is in the best interest of the country to procure two additional aircraft as recommended.

“This will also prove to be most cost-efficient in the long run, apart from the added advantage of providing a suitable, comfortable, and safe carrier befitting of the status and responsibilities of the office of the president and vice-president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” 

But yesterday, multiple sources in the Presidency stated that the federal government decided to put up three aircraft for sale to augment whatever money would be sent on procuring a new one. 

Jet HQ, a global player in aircraft sales, was already said to have been appointed as the agent to dispose of three aircraft in the fleet. 

The presidential fleet consists of six aircraft and six helicopters. The aircraft include one Boeing Business Jet used as Air Force One said to be 19 years old, currently unserviceable and undergoing maintenance; one Gulfstream G550 (13 years old, in good condition); one Gulfstream GV (23 years old, unserviceable); two Falcon 7Xs (one serviceable, one unserviceable), and one Challenger CL605 (12 years old, serviceable).

It was learnt that the three being put for sale are the BBJ aircraft; one Gulfstream and a Falcon 7x.

Our correspondent estimates that a used Boeing Business Jet costs between $25m to $41m depending on the number of hours and landings it has flown. Also, the used Gulfstream goes for between $12m to $15m.

An aviation expert told our correspondent the government may raise at least $50m from the sale of the three aircraft. 

It was however learnt that the Presidency is considering an Airbus Aircraft and the discussion on the sale has reached advanced stage. 

“The Presidency is planning to buy an Airbus aircraft from what I gathered. You know maybe because of our renewed friendship with Airbus and the fact that Airbus is now becoming a household name in Nigeria competing so fairly with Boeing. But in no distant time, we would have the details of the President’s plan,” the source said pleading not to be named.

 

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