By Emmanuel Nduka
Despite biting hardships faced by Nigerians, a breakdown of the 2022 Budget recently presented to Nigeria’s National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari last week, reveals that up to N12.5bn will be spent on the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF).
This is more than double (N5.19bn) of the amount appropriated for PAF in the 2015 Budget under the leadership of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zaynab Ahmed, while providing more details on the Appropriation, highlighted on the PAF budget which is domiciled in the budget of the National Security Adviser (NSA).
According to the PAF budget, N2.4bn will be spent on “compliance with mandatory upgrades on PAF aircraft”, while another N2bn will be spent on the overhaul of the existing Gulf Stream G550, Falcon 7X and CL 605 engines.
President Buhari will also spend N2bn on the repair of air navigational equipment, with another N500m to go for purchase of aircraft calibration equipment.
Further breakdown indicates that Aviation fuel will gulp N250m, while N210m will be used for the “purchase of Phase 7 Avionics for AW 139 helicopters”.
Another N1.6bn is allocated for general maintenance in the budget, while N1bn will be spent on the maintenance of aircraft.
The Presidential Fleet which consist of 10 aircraft (as at 2015), are made up of: Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or Airforce One), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Sidley 4000, two Agustawestland AW 139 helicopters and two Agustawestland AW 101 helicopters.
Meanwhile, some of the jets in the fleet have since been handed over to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to boost its operations.
In 2016, moves made by the federal government to sell two of the fleet (a Falcon 7X executive jet and Hawker 4000), failed.