FG spent N14.77bn on presidential jets in 11 months

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The Federal Government, under the administration of President Bola Tinubu, disbursed a total sum of N14.77bn for the repair and maintenance of the presidential air fleet in 11 months, Sunday PUNCH can confirm.

The payments, made in 11 tranches between 16th July 2023 and 25th May 2024, were processed through the State House headquarters transit account labelled, ‘Presidential Air Fleet Transit Funds’.

This new development comes amidst plans by the National Assembly to approve the purchase of two new aircraft after it was discovered that the President’s 19-year-old Boeing 737 and some of the other aircraft in the fleet, were dysfunctional.

The House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence listed the purchase in its technical subcommittee report, which may cost over $623.4m or N918.7bn, according to experts’ estimates.

In recent times, there has been serious contention about the state of the air fleet despite enormous government resources spent on it during past administrations.

The unavailability has also forced Tinubu to charter private jets, and Shettima to abandon international trips.

On May 6, 2024, Shettima abandoned his trip to the 2024 US-Africa Business Summit due to a technical fault with his official aircraft. The Vice President was scheduled to represent the President, who had to board a commercial aircraft to Saudi Arabia after his main luxury jet was taken for rehabilitation and a second aircraft he was travelling in developed a technical snag in The Netherlands.

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The Presidency currently maintains a fleet of six aircraft, namely a Boeing 737, a Gulfstream G550, a Gulfstream GV, two Falcon 7Xs, and a Challenger CL605; as well as six helicopters— two Agusta 139s and four Agusta 189s.

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