The Nigerian government has budgeted a whooping N7.3 billion to cater for the presidential aircraft in the 2018 budget.
President Muhammadu Buhari on presidential aircraft
It has been revealed that the Federal Government has proposed to spend N7.26 billion on the Presidential Air Fleet, PAF, in the 2018 budget proposal, Vanguard reports.
According to details by the Budget Office, about N4.3 billion of the amount was proposed for recurrent expenditure, while N2.8 billion is for capital expenditure.
The proposed expenditure is about 67 per cent higher than the N4.37 billion appropriation in the 2017 budget, which consisted of N3.97 billion for recurrent and N399.5 million for capital projects.
In the current proposal, which is subject to approval by National Assembly, at least N1.58 billion was set aside for the overhaul and maintenance of five aircraft in the fleet, from about N2.9 billion budgeted for capital expenditure.
Details showed that N200 million was proposed for the mandatory upgrade and installation of live television and Internet service on Boeing Business Jet, BBJ (5N-FGT).
Similarly, about N240 million was voted for a similar service on Gulfstream, G550 (5N-FGW) during the year.
The details also showed that N375 million would be used for installation of new cabin management system on GV (5N-FGS); N196.5 million for overhaul of landing gear for BBJ aircraft and N222 million for overhaul of Falcon 7X (5N-FGV) aircraft engines.
They also revealed about N3.89 billion was proposed for mandatory upgrades on fleet aircraft; general aircraft maintenance; aircraft fuel cost; purchase of air navigational equipment; rehabilitation/repairs of air navigational equipment and purchase of Towberless tow tractor for towing aircraft.
In the 2017 budget, about N2.03 billion was approved for the purchase of fire fighting vehicle and equipment and air navigational equipment; aircraft towing vehicle, aircraft maintenance tools and kitchen equipment; aircraft fuel cost and aircraft maintenance.
The Presidential Air Fleet, PAF, has remained a controversial subject, following outcry among Nigerians that the cost of maintenance of more than 10 aircraft in the fleet was too high, particularly at this time of tough economic challenges.
On assumption of office, President Muhammadu Buhari assured his administration would cut down on the number of aircraft on the fleet inherited from former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.