In a bid to further cut down on waste, the Federal Government has officially handed over two Presidential Aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
The helicopters, Augusta AW 101s from the VVIP range of the fleet, were handed over to the NAF by the National Security chief, Babagana Monguno in the presence of the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali.
Monguno, a retired major general, disclosed that the number of helicopters given by the presidency to the NAF was now four. 1x AW109 helicopter and 1x King Air Beechcraft had earlier been released in 2015 after Presisdent Buhari took over office.
The FG had recently run a full page newspaper advertisement for the sale of two Presidential Aircraft from the – Falcon 7x executive jet and Hawker 4000.
Interested buyers were asked to inspect the Falcon at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International, Airport, Abuja, and the Hawker at Cessna Zurich Citation Service Centre, Zurich, Switzerland.
It was gathered that at the weekend that bidders have been pouring in both from home and abroad to check the Falcon 7X at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
It has also been gathered that the FG expects not less than N20 billion (about $50 million) from the sale of the two aircraft.
According to sources, the figure is based on “the current market value” of Falcon 7X and Hawker 4000, as well as their year of entry into service (still recent) and the short distance they have travelled till date.
Aviation experts corroborated the valuation of the aircraft, with some telling the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) that the two aircraft can be conveniently auctioned between the range of $50 million and $70 million in the current market.
The number of aircraft in the presidential fleet has been a subject of discussion, following a recent document obtained from the Presidency which revealed that the amount of money spent so far on Presidential Jets since the inception of the current administration in May 2015 till date was around about N5 billion.