Despite the biting economic recession in the country, the Buhari-led administration have reportedly spent the sum of N5 billion on Presidential Air Fleet (Presidential jets) in the last 15 months, document obtained from the Presidency revealed.
According to the document, the Presidency put the amount of money so far released for the Presidential Jets since the inception of the current administration in May 2015 till date in the region of N5 billion.
The breakdown of the sum showed that N2.3 billion was released for PAF by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation between May and November 2015.
Of the sum, the Presidency said N99.715 million was spent on aircraft maintenance, spares and subscription services, while the sum of N98.5 million was spent on operations; N165.373 million on training and N85.5 million on personnel medicals and overheads.
The document also claimed that during the same period, that the PAF have also spent N1.350 billion to settle outstanding liabilities carried over from 2014 while N500 million was refunded to the NSA for financial support rendered for the maintenance of the Fleet prior to release of funds.
According to aviation experts, the Federal Government may have spent about N19.9 billion on the 10-aircraft PAF in the last 15 months of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The large-size PAF inherited from the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is the second largest airline in the country, coming after Arik Air which has 23 aircraft in its fleet.
According to experts’ estimated projections of expenses made in line with the cost of running and maintaining airplanes, about $65.13 million (N19.9 billion), using the official exchange rate of N305.5 per dollar, may have been spent on the 10-aicraft presidential fleet between May 29, 2015 and August 29, 2016.
Sequel to the launch of the national reorientation campaign tagged ‘Change Begins With Me’ last week, the presidency reportedly set the ball rolling by reducing the cost of governance, by cutting down on the number of presidential jets.