Presidential Fleet: President Jonathan to acquire new Gulfstream jet

The Jonathan government plans to buy a new plane to expand the presidential fleet, at a time many of the domestic airlines do not have enough planes to carry the mass of the people.

The fleet’s 11th plane – is Gulfstream- is to attract a N1.52million deposit, going by the 2014 budget.

The aircraft is expected to cost about N8 billion, according to industry sources.

The rest of the payment will be spread over one, two or three years before the jet is built and delivered, according to TheNation.

The expenditure is part of the projected spending contained in next year’s estimate, which was laid before the National Assembly last week by Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

These items include: the completion of a hanger, N405,500,000; Tyre bay tools and equipment N106,000,000; Towberless tow tractor for aircraft towing for N58,740,000; hanger sweeper N31,870,000; luggage conveyor belt truck N28,898,000; and Harlan tow tug for aircraft equipment towing N27,590,000.

Others are CCTV and surveillance equipment for N18,000,000; aircraft tools and equipment N11,480,000; battery workshop equipment N5,050,000; complete tool box for general works and vehicles N360,000; heavy duty crocodile jacks N300,000; aluminum ladder N285,000; safety boots N52,500 and foldable ladder, N50,000.

The aircraft in the fleet of the Presidential Air Fleet include 2 Falcon 7X jets, 2 Falcon 900 jets, a Gulfstream 550, one Boeing 737 BBJ (Nigerian Air Force 001 or Eagle One) being used exclusively by the President and a Gulfstream IVSP, 1 Gulfstream V, Cessna Citation 2 aircraft and Hawker Siddley 125-800 jet.

The new plane is coming at a time when the declining fortunes of the domestic airlines have made the Presidential Air Fleet larger than the fleets of three domestic airlines combined.

Chanchangi, MedView, and FirstNation airlines, all have one aircraft; Medview Airlines, three; while FirstNation has two.

IRS Airlines, with five aircraft in its fleet, has only one that is currently operational. The four others have been sent overseas for routine maintenance for a long time now.