Purchase Of New Presidential Aircraft For Tinubu, Shettima To Gulp N918bn

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By Cyril Ogar 

Nigeria is replacing the presidential aircraft for President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima after the condition of their aircraft raised questions about their safety but it may cost over $623.4m or N918.7bn to replace the two aircrafts.

The House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence suggested the purchase of two new aircraft for the President and his Vice-President after it found out that the president’s 19-year-old Boeing 737 is unserviceable while the vice-president’s 13-year-old Gulfstream G550 is in good condition.

“The committee is of the strong and informed opinion that, considering the fragile structure of the Nigerian federation and recognising the dire consequences of any foreseen or unforeseen mishap that may arise as a result of the technical or operational inadequacy of the presidential air fleet, it is in the best interest of the country to procure two additional aircraft as recommended”, the report reads.

The committee said Nigeria has six aircraft: one Boeing 737, a Gulfstream G550, a Gulfstream GV, two Falcon 7Xs, and a Challenger CL605 of which three of the aircraft are unserviceable.

AljazirahNigeria finding shows that the purchase of two new presidential aircraft may gulp at least $367m which is the average price of the BBJ 747-8 aircraft for the president and $256.4m for AIRBUS A330-300 for the VP excluding other acquisition costs.

This may cost over $623.4m excluding other costs if they consider lavish spending on presidential aircraft.

On the conservative side, the government may spend $151.1m an equivalent of N222.7bn if it decided to purchase the same brand of aircraft- Boeing 737-700 ($89m) for the president and Gulfstream G550 ($62m) for the VP, excluding the fitting and other costs.

The fittings cost between $25m to $50m, according to corporatejetinvestors.com.

A popular aircraft option for many countries like China, Japan, India, and South Korea is the Boeing 747 jumbo jet while the Airbus A330 and A340 are also commonly found in presidential fleets.

In 2020, India took delivery of its new VVIP Boeing 777 aircraft that will fly Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The aircraft is a Boeing 777-300ER.

In Africa, the President of South Africa travels in a Boeing 737 (BBJ) ZS-RSA “Inkwazi” which is called “South African One” and operated by the South African Air Force’s 21 Squadron.

The government of Egypt operates a Boeing B747-8 initially built for Lufthansa in 2015 bought in 2022 and one Airbus A340.

However, the Boeing 747 and the Airbus A330 are the preferred choice for a presidential fleet.

If the Federal government is going for one of the top choices for presidential aircraft- BBJ 747, according to an aviation website, corporatejetinvestor.com, the starting price for new aircraft is $367m.

If the federal government opts for a BBJ 747-8, Nigeria will spend at least $367m but this cost is without an interior. Axonaviation.com’s price listing of the Boeing 747-8I is $418.4m.

An interior design and fittings would add another $25m to $50m depending on what features are installed and how the interior is designed.

If the Nigerian government decides to go for a Boeing 777-300ER, the lowest price is $375.5m. But for Boeing 777-200LR, the least price is $346.9m while the Boeing 777-200ER is $306m, according to the aircraft listing site, Axonaviation.com.

The average purchase price of a new Airbus A330 is $264.2m, according to the price listing of Paramount Business Jets.

Axoniaaviation.com listed the AIRBUS A330-300 with engine- ROLLS-ROYCE, GE, PRATT & WHITNEY to cost at least $256.4m while AIRBUS A330-200 with ROLLS-ROYCE, GE, PRATT & WHITNEY is sold for $231.5M excluding the interior. The prices listed are excluding the interior designs and other costs.

If the Nigerian government purchases the Airbus A340, according to simpleflying.com, the A340-300 with engine- CFM INTERNATIONAL without interior fitted has a listing price of $264.2m, while Axonaviation.com put the price at $219m.

The Airbus A330-900(neo) is priced at $296.4m, according to simpleflying.com.

However, if the federal government decides to acquire another Boeing 737, it will spend an average price of $89m for Boeing 737-700 which is among the least expensive in the Boeing model. This is without the fitting. The Boeing 737-900ER with engine, PRATT & WHITNEY, GE has a list price of $112m.

If the government plans to replace the VP’s aircraft with another Gulfstream G550, the list price for a new Gulfstream G550 is $62m depending on configuration, according to privatejetcardcomparisons.com. However, the fitting and other costs are excluded.

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