The federal government yesterday place advertisement for the sale of two aircrafts in the presidential fleet.
This is a clear move to cut down the size of the fleet which observers say is in line with the recently launched change mantra campaign of the apex government tagged; Change begins With Me.
It would be recalled that on November last year, when there were reports that the presidency spends about N6 billion to maintain Presidential Air Fleet in 6 months, Presidential Spokesmen refuted it claiming it was not so.
Again, earlier in June this year, Senate Committee Chairman on Privatisation, Senator Ben Bruce advised the presidency ‘in his common sense campaign on SilverBird TV’ to sell off the 11 presidential jets.
Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, had hinted last month that the number of aircraft in the fleet would be reduced.
The Office of the National Security Adviser advertised the sale of two airplanes on Tuesday.
The advert, published on page 35 of Tuesday’s edition of a national daily, said the aircraft up for sale were Falcon 7x and Hawker 4000.
The advertorial detailed the specification of the planes as well as their performance levels, indicating that they were in pretty good condition.
Interested buyers are advised to inspect the Falcon at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
On the other hand, the Hawker 4000 can only be inspected at Cessna Zurich Citation Service Centre, Zurich, Switzerland. The bids are to be quoted in dollars, the notice said.
Mr. Shehu confirmed the planned sale to media executives, saying “This is correct”.
Contacted Aviation experts say it may be very hard for any local airline operators to bid favourably for the aircrafts because the fund to pay is not there.
Besides, some non-sector experts who bared their minds on the advertisement said the sale plan may be bait for politically-exposed-persons (PEPs) who may be arrested by anti graft agencies in an effort to trace the source of the fund after all.
Majority of Nigerians who are facing the heat of recession say only airline operators in other countries may have the financial muscles to bid and pay.