Contrary to reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the immediate disposal of nine of the 11 VIP transport aircraft in the presidential fleet, the presidency on Friday denied knowledge of any such directive.
THISDAY newspaper had quoted unnamed sources as saying the president
had directed the selling of serviceable and unserviceable aircrafts to
cut maintenance costs in line with the government’s policy to
drastically reduce its annual expenditure.
Eight of the planes in the fleet, including Boeing 737, two
Gulfstream 550 jets, Gulfstream V jet, two Falcon 7X planes, the Hawker
Siddeley aircraft and Augusta Westland chopper, the report said, are
reserved strictly for the president’s movement.
Other aircrafts, including two Falcon 900 planes, the Dornier, the
Cessna Citation, the Beechracft King Air, and two AugustaWestland
choppers, are reserved for the airlifting of the Vice-President, Senate
President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Minister of Foreign
Affairs, as well as visiting African heads of states.