New reports have revealed that private jet owners in Nigeria spend about $500,000 to $1 million (N30.5 billion) on maintenance annually despite the current economic hardship biting the nation.
Moreover, Nigeria is reportedly rated as the third highest private jet owning country and investigations reveal that the number of private jet owners in the country has continued to decrease due to the economic recession. It is estimated that the figures have dropped from 200 to between 50 and 100. Leadership reports that most of them who are out of the league are either selling out their private jets or returning them to their original owners abroad.
Before the present government came into power, it was estimated that there were about 200 individual private jet owners in Nigeria. But with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s anti-corruption war, the number is said to have been halved to about 100 private jets, following the cancellation of orders by potential owners before the new government came into office.
President of National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Engr Isaac Balami, confirmed that the cost of maintaining an aircraft is very expensive, as the issue of safety and engineering are paramount.
According to Balami, although most modern aircraft have been able to take care of some of the maintenance by just software applications, the cost of maintaining an aircraft still remains a function of the type of the aircraft and the level of specifications certified by the aircraft maker.
Balami stated that the cost of maintaining an aircraft does not only end at “C” checks level but also involves the need for pre-flight, post-flight and weekly inspections too, depending on whether the aircraft is Boeing, Airbus, Bombadier or Gulfstream.
“It depends on how the manufacturer specify how you can do checks on the aircraft routine. There are normal routine checks but there is also non-routine checks. Sometimes you land and maybe you applied too much breaks and within two weeks, the break that is supposed to serve in the next four months, five months is now overused and due for replacement.
“There is conditional and unconditional maintenance checks. Sometimes you even have the ones you don’t even expect. A bird may just fly into your engine and that may cost hundreds and thousands of dollars.
“On the average, I will say maintenance cost of private jet costs about $500,000 to $1 million US dollars for a year, depending on the size of the aircraft. The reason is because it is the function of the age of the aircraft. The older the aircraft the costlier the cost of maintenance. You must also pay engineers monthly and other costs. All these are part of it,” Balami explained.
Although Balami confirmed that private jet ownership has reduced in recent times, he notes that here still exists a couple of them.
“The Bombadier is bigger and more comfortable; we also have the Gulfstream. Apart from America and China, Nigeria is the third in private jet ownership all over the world. From the last administration, we had over 200 private jets and so many other orders were made.
“It was growing up, although some people later cancelled their orders because of the recession, especially when everything is done in Dollars. France, UK and other advanced countries do not come near to Nigeria when it comes to private jet ownership,” he said.
Notably, some prominent Nigerians who own private jets include:
- The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Ahmed Bola Tinubu
- Former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu
- Former Borno State governor
- Senator Ali Modu Sherrif
- Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote
- Africa’s richest woman, Folorunsho Alakija
- Second richest man in Nigeria, Otunba Mike Adenuga
- General Overseer of The Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo
- Head of the Redeemed Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adegboye
- Former president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Ayo Oritsejafor, amongst others.