President Muhammadu Buhari has concluded plans to sell two presidential aircraft – a Falcon 7x executive jet and Hawker 4000.
In October this year, the presidency confirmed that the sale of two jets had been approved by Buhari and adverts were placed in newspapers for interested buyers.
A top Presidency source told PUNCH on Monday that the process of selling the aircraft, which was handled by the Office of the National Security Adviser, had been concluded.
He said: “The bids were opened in the presence of all interested parties about two weeks ago.
“At the end of the exercise, all those who participated commended the process which they described as very transparent.”
He, however, refused to disclose the identities of the preferred bidders and the amount the Federal Government would realize from the sales. But promised that the details would be made public soon.
“The report will be made available to the President first. Once he approves it, it will be made public in accordance with the present administration’s policy,” he said.
In his statement on October 4, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, explained that the decision to sell the jets in the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF), was to cut down on waste.
Two aircraft had also been handed over to the Nigerian Air Force, to help in the fight against Boko Haram.
Shehu said back then: “When he campaigned to be President, the then All Progressives Congress candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, if you recall, promised to look at the Presidential Air Fleet with a 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 Nigerian Air Force for their operations.”
According to the Presidency, the PAF had 10 aircraft at the inception of this administration.