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Details Emerge On Reason President Bola Tinubu Flew To South Africa On A Private Jet




A report has indicated that President Bola Tinubu shunned the nation’s presidential aircraft and used a private jet to attend the inauguration of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa because of the poor state of the presidential jet.

Naija News understands that the president left from Lagos on Monday aboard a chartered plane instead of the 737 Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) nicknamed Nigerian Air Force 001, which is the official aircraft of the President.

A source told The Nation that the BBJ is undergoing C-Check making it unavailable for the trip.

The source said, “The President took a chartered plane to South Africa because most of the aircraft in PAF are currently undergoing routine maintenance because of their poor condition.

“The 737 Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) being used by Mr. President is also affected. The plane is more than 20 years old.

“None of the other jets in the fleet could be recalled from where they are undergoing check to fly the President to South Africa.

“Technically, the aircraft which flew the President to Lagos for Eid-el Kabir was not fit enough to make the shuttle to the inauguration of the South African President.

“President Tinubu does not derive pleasure in flying about in a chartered jet. What will he gain? But when it comes to technical audit of the aircraft of PAF, safety is a top priority. It is better to mitigate any risk than aggravating it.”

There are 10 aircraft in the Presidential Fleet, including six jets and four helicopters.

They are Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) 737, Gulfstream G550, Gulfstream G500, two Falcons 7X, HS 4000, two Agusta 139 and two Agusta 101.

A source also told the aforementioned publication that no aircraft was in good condition to make the flight to South Africa.

The source explained that in the last one year, the President has been weighing options on how to reduce the aircraft in the presidential fleet from 10 to seven as part of cost-saving measures.

The three aircraft likely to be on the shelf are the 737 Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), Falcon and Embraer jets.

The BBJ was bought at about $43 million during the tenure of Olusegun Obasanjo.

But the Federal Government has been advised to replace the Nigerian Air Force 001.

The presidency has spent over ₦80 billion since 2016 on the Presidential Fleet, which is being managed by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).