President Muhammadu Buhari has given a directive for 9 VIP presidential air fleet to be sold to cut down on cost, given the current economic situation in the country.
According to reports from THISDAY, the presidential fleet, which are registered as Nigerian Air Force aircraft, is one of the largest in Africa and the third largest in Nigeria after Arik Air and Aerocontractors.
The federal government spends over N12 billion annually for the maintenance of the presidential fleet.Although information on the exact size of the fleet is treated as classified information, the fleet, according to aviation sources, is believed to comprise about 16 aircraft, chief of which is the Boeing 738 BBJ, NAF 001 or Eagle One, used by the president for his travels.
The aircraft is said to have luxury configuration comprising a master bedroom, washrooms and showers, a conference and dinning area, and a living area, the plane seats 25 to 50 passengers and would cost at least $100 million to replace today.
It was also gathered that about 8 aircraft in the presidential air fleet are strictly reserved for the president while other are reserved for the vice president, senate president and also for air lifting other African leaders departing Nigeria.