Information obtained from government aviation agencies and airline operators has revealed that the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration spends an estimated N9.08bn annually to maintain the Presidential Air Fleet.
PAF has the third largest fleet of aircraft in the country. According to findings, the PAF contains a total of 10 aircraft, coming closely behind Aero Contractors Airlines, which has a total of 14 aircraft.
Arik Air, the largest commercial airline in the country, has a fleet of 23 aircraft.
Figures obtained from the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority revealed that N9.08bn is spent to maintain the 10 presidential jets every year.
The PAF include two Falcon 7X jets, two Falcon 900 jets, Gulfstream 550, one Boeing 737 BBJ (Nigerian Air Force 001 or Eagle One), and Gulfstream IVSP.
Others are one Gulfstream V, Cessna Citation 2 aircraft and Hawker Siddley 125-800 jet.
According to a former Minister of Information, Professor, Dora Akunyili, each of the two Falcon 7X jets purchased in 2010 cost $51.1m, while the Gulfstream 550 costs $53.3m.
The factory price of other aircraft in the fleet could not be easily obtained online. However, airline CEOs put the average price of Falcon 900 at $35m, Gulfstream IVSP as $40m, Gulfstream V at $45m, Boeing 737 BBJ at $58m, Cessna Citation is $7m and Hawker Siddley 125-800 at $15m.
This brings a combined estimated value of Nigeria’s PAF to $390.5m (N60.53bn).
According to airline chief executives and industry experts, airlines spend between 15 and 20 per cent of the cost of an aircraft on its operation yearly. They say that averagely, a little less than one-fifth of the cost of the plane is spent every year on insurance, flight and cabin crew, maintenance, fuelling, catering and training.
Going by the fact that at least 15 per cent of this amount is spent annually on operating the PAF, it means about $58.57m (N9.08bn) is spent annually on running the planes .
Nigeria happens to be one of few countries of the world with a large PAF.