The Federal Government has advertised the sale of two presidential jets – a Falcon 7X executive jet and Hawker 4000, as a way of cutting down on waste.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu confirmed the newspaper advert for the sale of two Presidential aircraft in a statement issued on today Oct. 4th, and made available to journalists.
Shehu also confirmed that the sales were authorised by the President.
“His directive to a government committee on this assignment is that he likes to see a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the President, the Vice-President and other government officials that go on special missions.”
He explained that the reduction would not end with the sale of the two jets, adding that some aircraft in the fleet would also soon be handed over to the Nigeria Air Force for its operations.
“This exercise is by no means complete. I am sure the Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet will any time from now call you to a ceremony at which he will hand over some other aircraft to the Air Force for their operations.”
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.
The office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), which is in charge of the sale, said all bids should be quoted in US dollars.
The number of aircraft in the presidential fleet has been a subject of discussion. A document obtained from the Presidency had revealed that the amount of money spent so far on Presidential Jets since the inception of the current administration in May 2015 till date is about N5 billion.
Critics have lamented that the cost of maintaining these jets in this period of economic crisis is quite alarming.