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Nigeria's Government to Sell Three Presidential Fleet Aircraft to Cut Expenses, Report Says

CC BY-SA 2.0 / Christopher Ebdon / Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) 737-7EG
Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) 737-7EG - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 01.04.2024
President Tinubu last week imposed a three-month ban on state-sponsored travel abroad by federal government officials as part of another austerity measure, a restriction that takes effect on Monday.
Three aircraft from Nigeria's presidential fleet are to be sold to reduce the cost of government operations, a source in President Bola Tinubu's administration told local media.

"The president is uncomfortable with the rising cost of maintaining the planes. Three planes have been penciled down for disposal. The main reason is cutting down high maintenance costs," the source said.

In the past few months, the office of the president has reportedly spent more than $5 million on fleet maintenance.
There are currently ten aircraft in the presidential fleet - six jets and four helicopters, according to media reports. The presidential fleet includes Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) 737, Gulfstream G550, Gulfstream G500, two Falcon 7X, HS 4000, while the helicopters include two Agusta 139 and two Agusta 101.
The BBJ 737 is reportedly used exclusively by the president, while the other aircraft are used by top government officials.
President-Elect Bola Tinubu addresses gathered supporters and the country after receiving his certificate at a ceremony in Abuja, Nigeria on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 21.03.2024
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This is not the first attempt by the Nigerian presidential administration to sell part of its aircraft fleet. In October 2016, Garba Shehu, then spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, said that two presidential aircraft would be sold in line with the president's directive to reduce the number of aircraft to cut costs.
As the media has since learned, the preferred bidders, who initially agreed to pay $24 million for the two planes, later lowered their offer to $11 million—an offer that was rejected by the government of the day.