Cost of presidential air fleet rises 185.6%, swallows 50.75 billion naira in five years


Budget allocations for the presidential air fleet have increased from N 4.37 billion in 2017 to N12.48 billion in 2022, according to data obtained from federal government appropriation bills during the reporting period. review.

This shows an increase of N8.11bn or 185.58 percent in five years, signaling an increase in the cost of operating presidential air fleets.

On October 7, 2021, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired), presented the 2022 budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly; a huge N16.39tn, which will send the federal government on another N6.23tn borrowing spree. According to the proposal, 12.48 billion naira has been allocated to PAF.

Sunday PUNCH observed that budget allocations for PAFs have been steadily increasing since 2017, with the exception of 2020, where the allocation saw a slight decrease of N503.75 million from the previous year.

In 2017, the proposed allocation was 4.37 billion naira. Recurrent expenses, including staff compensation and overheads, amounted to N 4.37 billion. The sum of 399.50 million naira has been allocated for investment projects.

In 2018, the proposed allocation was 7.26 billion naira. Recurrent expenses, including staff compensation and overheads, amounted to N 4.36 billion. 2.90 billion naira has been allocated for investment projects. This is an increase of 66.13% from the previous year.

In 2019, the proposed allocation was 7.30 billion naira. Recurrent expenses – including staff compensation and overheads – amounted to N 4.36 billion while N 2.94 billion was allocated for investment projects. This is an increase of 0.55% from the previous year.

In 2020, the proposed allocation was 6.79 billion naira. Recurrent expenses, including staff compensation and overheads, amounted to 3.02 billion naira while 3.77 billion naira was allocated for investment projects.

The allocation for 2020 decreased by 6.99% compared to 2019. This decrease, which concerned overheads, may be linked to the global foreclosure which ceased operations for several months.

In 2021, the proposed allocation was 12.55 billion naira. Recurrent expenses, including staff compensation and overheads, amounted to N 4.37 billion while N 8.18 billion was allocated for investment projects. This is an increase of 84.83% from the previous year.

In 2022, the proposed allocation was 12.48 billion naira. Recurrent expenses, including staff compensation and overheads, amounted to N 4.35 billion while N 8.13 billion was allocated for investment projects. Staff compensation for 2022 increased by 13.5 million Naira or 3.1% from the previous year. The allocation for 2022 has decreased by 0.56% compared to 2021.

According to the breakdown, Buhari offered N 2 billion for repair of air navigation equipment, N 210 million for the purchase of phase 7 avionics for AW 139 helicopters, N 1.6 billion for maintenance general, N 1 billion for aircraft maintenance and N 250 million for aviation fuel.

Cumulatively, however, the PAF allocation increased by 185.58% between 2017 and 2022.

The Secretary General of the Round Table of Aviation, Olumide Ohunayo, blamed the meteoric rise in PAF allocations to the age of the aircraft in the fleet. He also blamed the dwindling value of the naira as well as “commercial use” of planes by the Nigerian Air Force.

In an interview with Sunday punch Ohunayo said, “The cost will definitely increase over the years because these planes are not new. And the older the planes, the higher the maintenance and operating costs.

“In addition, in recent years, terrorism and insecurity have increased in Nigeria, which has also affected the cost of plane insurance.

“Finally, this issue of the naira against the dollar. As the naira continues to fall against the dollar, we will see an increase in costs, as most of the costs of training crews, engineers and replacing aircraft parts are all in dollars.

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