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Three Presidential Jets Up For Sale

Three jets in the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) are to be sold off, it was learnt at the weekend.

This is part of the cost-saving measures being adopted by the Tinubu Administration, an official told our correspondent.

There are 10 aircraft in the fleet – six jets and four helicopters – which will be cut to seven if the planned action sails through.

During the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the plan to sell two planes in the fleet did not materialise.

In October 2016, a Dassault Falcon 7x executive jet and a Beechcraft Hawker 4000 business jet were put up for sale.

The preferred bidders who initially agreed to pay $ 24 million for the two aircraft, later reduced their offer to $ 11 million. This was rejected by the then government.

Thereafter, an arrangement to put some of the aircraft on chatter for willing governors was initiated to make the planes income-generating, thereby reducing the government expenses on maintenance.

The planes in the Presidential Fleet are Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) 737, Gulfstream G550, Gulfstream G500, two Falcon 7X, HS 4000, two Agusta 139, and two Agusta 101.

The BBJ 737 is the Nigerian Air Force One, which is used exclusively by the President.

It is designed to serve as an office and a residential quarter on air to enable the president to function effectively during his trip.

The President also uses one of the helicopters for shuttles during his trips around the country.

Other jets in the fleet are used by top government officials, including the Vice President, governors, the  President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the National Assembly members on special shuttles, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,  ministers on special missions, the Chief of Staff,  advisers and even ambassadors of plenipotentiary status.

It could not be ascertained at the weekend if the President BBJ 737 will be sold and replaced.

The BBJ was bought for about $43 million during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.

A Falcon and Embraer jets have been slated to be sold.

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