*More to follow, says presidency
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-Finally, President Muhammadu Buhari has given approval for the sale of two presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7x executive jet and Hawker 4000 from the Presidential Air Fleet, PAF.
This was in the fulfilment of his 2015 election campaign promises of selling off many of the airplanes to reduce cost if elected as president.
More of the aircraft would also be sold in the coming days.
Recall that Controversy had trailed the promise in the past as to whether the president would live up to his words.
Presidency sources confirmed that PAF contains 10 aircrafts which affected the nation’s revenue.
The aircraft included Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or AirForce One), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Sidley 4000, two AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopters and two AgustaWestland AW 101 helicopters.
In readiness to dispose the machines, the presidency yesterday put out some advertorial, announcing the sales.
Reacting afterwards to the authenticity of the advertorials, the Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity to president Buhari, Mallam Grana Shehu said that indeed, the president made the approval for the sale.
He recalled that it was in line with the APC election campaign promises in 2015, stressing that the development would help save more money for the country.
“The newspaper advertisements for the sale of two Presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7x executive jet and Hawker 4000 were duly authorised by the Presidency.
“This is in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari that aircraft in the Presidential air fleet be reduced to cut down on waste.
“When he campaigned to be President, the then APC candidate Muhammadu Buhari, if you recall, promised to look at the presidential air fleet with view to cutting down on waste.
“His directive to a government committee on this assignment is that he liked to see a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the President, the Vice President and other government officials that go on special missions.
“This exercise is by no means complete.
“I am sure the Commander of the Presidential air fleet will any time from now, call you to a ceremony at which he will hand over some other aircraft to the Airforce for their operations”, Shehu explained in a statement yesterday.
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