Buhari’s Presidential Plane Parked In London Gulps N84mln In 60 Days

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PIC. 22. PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI WAVES AS HE DEPARTS THE UMARU MUSA YAR'ADUA AIRPORT, KATSINA ON THURSDAY (24/9/15) FOR NEW YORK TO ATTEND THE 70TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY. 6834/24/9/2015/ICE/BJO/NAN
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President Muhammadu Buhari’s Presidential plane parked in London since May 10 have cost Nigeria a total sum of 84,000,000 naira so far. According to reports, Nigeria’s presidential plane costs $4,000 daily. Buhari has been on an indefinite medical leave in UK hospital over an undisclosed illness.

The recent disclosure that a presidential aircraft has been parked on the tarmac in a London airport since May 10, 2017 and the explanations offered by an aide to the President, Mr Garba Shehu have raised issues which must be resolved now in order not to establish a precedent that will come back to haunt this nation in the future.

The report claimed that it costs Nigeria $4,000 everyday in parking fees to keep the aircraft on standby for Buhari, or a total of N80 million for the first 50 days since returned to London for treatment. But Shehu said even if the usual waivers were not granted it would not cost more than $1,000 a day or N20 million for the period.

Nobody denies that the President of Nigeria deserves private aircraft in order to perform his functions with utmost security. The controversy has always been about the prudent number of aircraft which should be in the presidential fleet given the nation’s poor economy.

As a candidate, Buhari campaigned vigorously against what he regarded as waste when former President Jonathan operated a fleet of ten. As an elected president, Buhari only reluctantly gave up two of the aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force after a lot of angry denunciations. Even that, the transfer was not real because, as the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, the two aircraft are still under his control.

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We would not join issues if it were merely a matter of the aircraft waiting for the President for a few days or even weeks. The main issue here is that the President is away for an indefinite period, an indefinite medical vacation can cost the nation dearly and avoidably in parking fees.

This is against the spirit of prudent use of public property and spending of public finance, which the President campaigned for as a candidate for election.

A second reason for supporting the return of the aircraft to Nigeria pending when it is needed to bring back the President, is that its presence at the British airport is attracting unfavourable global attention to the fact that Nigeria is incapable of providing adequately at home for the health needs of its people, including its leader.

For now, on compassionate grounds, we do not want to join issues with those putting pressure for constitutional instruments to be raised in determining the President’s ability to continue in office. We need to allow him more time to recuperate. But in the meantime, the presidential aircraft should be returned to Nigeria and called back to duty whenever it is needed to bring back the President.

About Wisdom Nwedene 8663 Articles
Wisdom Nwedene is a seasoned investigative reporter and a Senior Correspondent at 9NEWS NIGERIA. He is currently an editor @9News Nigeria and also a social media strategist, writer, freelancer. Wisdom Nwedene has also interviewed many top Nigerian celebrities and Politicians. Contact me via : 07034977317 .To always get our news update on WhatsApp, call or text 'add me' to, 07034977317 or send me message via Facebook : Wisdom Nwedene(https://www.facebook.com/wisdom.nwedene) Share your story with us: +234703497 7317 ( Call & SMS only) Email: Nwedenewisdom@gmail.com

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