Four days ago, we published an exhaustive analysis of Buhari’s travel plans.
In that article, we stated that the President had 10 planes in his Presidential air fleet (PAF).
The last inventory showed that the fleets includes: a Boeing Business Jet (737); a Gulfstream V-SP; a Gulfstream 550, two Falcon 7Xs; two Agusta139; two Augusta 101; and a HS 4000.
The combined estimated value of the PAF is about $400m dollars or (N126, billion official rates or N166 billion at black market rates).
As at 2014, cost of maintaining these aircrafts stood at N9 billion naira per annum.
If we factor in a greater than 100% price hike in commodities, then the total cost of maintaining President Buhari’s air planes will be about N20 billion naira!
The PAF is the third largest fleet of aircraft in the country.
According to findings, the PAF has a total of 10 aircraft, coming closely behind Aero Contractors Airlines, which has a total of 14 aircraft.
Arik Air, the largest commercial airline in the country, has a fleet of 23 aircraft.
Heeding our advice, the President has agreed to offload some of the planes in his fleet.
The President has directed the office of the National Security Adviser to constitute a committee that will come up with a recommended size for PAF.
The Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, made this known yesterday.
According to Garba, “There is a government committee already in place, working to reduce the number of aircraft in the presidential fleet.
“Some aircraft will be boarded, some others returned to the Air Force for operations. The Change is here,” Garba said.
Before the committee submit their final report, we will stick to our earlier advice: Keep the Boeing 737, the Gulfstream 550 and one Agusta139 helicopter.