Buhari Government Spends N92million As ‘Parking Fee’ On Faulty Presidential Jet Taken To Germany For Repairs
A Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-700) marked 5N-FGT owned by the Nigerian government has incurred parking charges of at least N95 million since it was taken to Germany for repairs.
The amount accounts for the aircraft’s parking charges for 40 days, at the rate of €5,000 (N2.4 million) at the official rate of N473.75 to €1).
Newsmen had reported how the presidential jet developed a fault while the President and his entourage were returning to Abuja from the UN General Assembly in the US on Saturday, September 25.
Sources said the aircraft was subsequently moved to Euro Airport in Germany on September 29 and arrived at 4.15 pm after leaving the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at 9.48 am, with the Nigerian government paying €5,000 (Euros) per night as parking fee.
To avoid any backlash, newsmen gathered that the registration of the 5N-FGT aircraft was done using AMACGND.
“The Presidential Boeing Business Jet registration number 5N-FGT developed a fault during his trip from New York. He travelled to Saudi Arabia with a smaller jet. A Falcon 7X jet with registration number 5N-FGV. No picture of his departure to Saudi Arabia was released to avoid the public knowing about the jet he travelled with,” a presidential source had told newsmen.
“The one that developed (a) fault has been moved to EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg, Germany for repairs since September. It is registered and operated under another name AMACGND. They intentionally hid it and parked it under another name because it costs €5,000 for parking per night.”
This means by Monday, November 08, the Muhammadu Buhari-led government has paid €195,000 (N92 million) as parking fee for the aircraft, which has spent 39 days there.
This excludes the millions of naira being spent on the repair of the jet.
Despite promising to cut waste, the Buhari-led government has spent at least N41 billion on the presidential fleet.
After taking office on May 29, 2015, the 2016 Appropriation Act signed by the President allocated N3.652 billion for the upkeep of the presidential fleet.
In 2017, the cost of maintenance of the presidential aircraft rose to N4.37 billion (19.6 per cent). The figure then skyrocketed to N7.260 billion (98.7 per cent) in 2018.
In 2019, the cost of maintaining the PAF again rose to N7.297 billion (99.6 per cent). The allocation, however, fell to N6.793 billion (86 per cent) in 2020. But in 2021, the budget for the presidential fleet saw its sharpest Buhari-era jump to N12.550 billion (243.6 per cent).
By comparison, the 2015 budget, which was in effect upon Buhari’s inauguration, earmarked N5.190 billion for the presidential fleet. The appropriation for the Presidential Air Fleet in 2021 indicates a 243.6 per cent increase from the allocation six years prior.