The Federal Government has advertised the sale of two aircraft in the presidential fleet and directed that the bids be quoted in US dollars.
A Falcon 7x and Hawker 4000 are the aircraft to be disposed, according to an advert placed in a national daily.
Interested buyers were asked to inspect the Falcon at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International, Airport, Abuja, and the Hawker at Cessna Zurich Citation Service Centre, Zurich, Switzerland.
The office of the national security adviser (NSA), which is in charge of the sale, said all bids should be quoted in US dollars – a possible indication that the government is avoiding exchange rate risks being experienced by businesses in Nigeria.
The number of the aircraft in the presidential fleet has been a subject of discussion, with critics lamenting the cost of maintaining them in a period of economic crisis.
Ben Bruce, senator representing Bayelsa east, who has been one of the vocal voices in the national assembly, advised President Muhammadu Buhari to sell off all the jets. “I appeal to @MBuhari to sell off our 11 presidential jets. Maintaining them at the current ₦5.3 Billion per annum is against #commonsense. Does it make #commonsense that our presidential air fleet is larger than the combined fleet of the Queen of England and the British PM?” he once wrote on Twitter. In September, Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, hinted that the aircraft in the fleet would soon be reduced.
“There is a govt committee already in place, working to reduce the number of aircraft in the Presidential fleet,” he also wrote on Twitter