Proposal by Tinubu Government to Sell Off Three Presidential Aircraft

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Tinubu jets out to France for private visit
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The Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led government is poised to sell three from the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF), as part of cost-saving measures adopted by the administration, according to .

Currently, the fleet comprises ten aircraft, including six jets and four helicopters. This number will reduce to seven following the successful execution of the plan.

The Presidential Fleet includes a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) 737, Gulfstream G550, Gulfstream G500, two Falcon 7X, a HS 4000, two Agusta 139, and two Agusta 101 helicopters. The BBJ 737, designated as the Nigerian Air Force One, is exclusively used by the President, serving both as an office and a residence in the air to facilitate efficient functioning during trips.

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Additionally, one of the helicopters is utilized for shuttles on domestic trips.

In October 2016, efforts to sell a Dassault Falcon 7x and a Beechcraft Hawker 4000 were unsuccessful. The initial agreement to purchase the two aircraft for $24 million was later reduced to $11 million by the preferred bidders, a proposal the Muhammadu Buhari government declined.

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Over N80 billion has been allocated to the PAF for maintenance costs across several years: N3.65 billion in 2016, N4.37 billion in 2017, N7.26 billion in 2018, N7.30 billion in 2019, N6.79 billion in 2020, N12.55 billion in 2021, N12.48 billion in 2022, and approximately N25.7 billion in 2023, consisting of N13 billion in the budget and an additional N12.7 billion in the supplementary budget.

President Tinubu has expressed concerns over the escalating maintenance costs, prompting the decision to downsize the fleet. According to a source in conversation with , the President’s discomfort with these rising expenses has led to the earmarking of three aircraft for disposal, primarily to mitigate the financial burden.

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Furthermore, the source highlighted the importance of the fleet for connecting to various African countries, where commercial flights may be less frequent. The control of the fleet’s use lies with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to ensure efficient management.

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An investigation by The Nation revealed that the presidency might have spent over $5 million on maintenance in recent months, though the exact figure of outstanding financial commitments remains undisclosed.

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