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Buhari Spends N5bn on Presidential Fleet

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President Muhammadu Buhari

Despite the harsh economic situation in the country, the Federal Government has reportedly spent the sum of N5bn on the 10-aircraft Presidential Air fleet since coming to power, a document obtained from the Presidency showed.

According to the document, the Presidency has so far spent N5bn since the inception of this administration in May 2015. The breakdown showed N2.3bn was released between May and November 2015 for PAF by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

Also, the figure includes personnel costs, overheads and capital expenditures, a total of N99.715m was spent on spares, maintenance and subscription services.

While the sum of N98.5m was spent on operations, a total of N165.373m was spent on training and N85.5m on personnel medicals and overheads.

The document also revealed that PAF spent N1.350bn to settle outstanding liabilities of the past administration, while N500m was refunded to the NSA for financial support rendered for the maintenance of the Fleet prior to release of funds.

According to industry experts, airlines spend between 15 and 20 percent of the cost of an aircraft on its operation yearly and a little less than one-fifth of the plane is spent every year on insurance, flight and cabin crew, maintenance, fuelling, catering and training.

Using a conservative percentage of 15 percent, it means that about $52.11m (N15.92bn) must have been spent on the PAF by May 29, 2016.

The General Secretary, Aviation Round Table, an industry pressure group, Group Captain John Ojikutu, said “It is high time the Presidency reduced the number of aircraft in that fleet. We can’t be spending our scarce forex to maintain a large fleet of 10 aircraft.”

Spending a N5bn on maintenance of 10 aircraft at a time when many states “cannot pay salaries and dozens of families going hungry across most parts of the country is insensitive and a hallmark of an anti-people regime,” said Mr. Debo Adeniran, Chairman Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders.

He said, “Spending that type of money on maintenance of aircraft is not the best at this time. It is profligacy, it is unnecessary and smacks of insensitivity on the part of the regime that is supposed to effect positive change in the lives of the people.”

“A few days ago the Federal Government launched the ‘Change begins with me’ campaign but I disagree with the government that because it is like shifting the goalpost to Nigerians. This administration has not shown us that it has good plans. All the policies that have been implemented so far – both fiscal and monetary – are anti-people. This is not the type of government that we yearned for.

“They criticised Goodluck Jonathan of keeping a large fleet of aircraft but they are also doing the same thing. I think Buhari is alone in his anti-corruption fight because most of his cabinet members have not been able to detach themselves from the lifestyle of the past regime.”

A former Governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said President Buhari administration “is as wasteful as the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.”

“They should sell off some of the jets in order to reduce wastage of our economic resources and also to demonstrate the change they are talking about,” he added.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Presidential Garba Shehu, hinted that there was a committee already deliberating on trimming the presidential fleet.

He made the revelation in a reaction to a tweet by blogger, Japheth Omojuwa, who asked why the Presidency has yet to reduce the 10 aircraft on its fleet.

“There is a government committee already in place, working to reduce the number of aircraft in the presidential fleet,” Shehu said.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Ibom MRO to Bring in Forex to Nigeria 

Akwa Ibom State to open a cutting-edge smart terminal building at the Victor Attah International Airport

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U.S dollar - Investors King

The governor of Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel, has announced that the state is close to opening a cutting-edge smart terminal building at the Victor Attah International Airport and that this will generate foreign exchange for Nigeria. 

Investors King has also learnt that an MRO facility for aircraft would be operational from January.

This comes on the heels of praise from his Edo State counterpart, Gov. Godwin Obaseki, who attended the Tuesday reception in Uyo for two additional A320-200 Airbus aircraft that the state’s Ibom Air fleet had leased from a European company.

Speaking at the event, the governor of Akwa Ibom said that while there were already efforts underway to persuade the government to lease the MRO, the MRO is an investment because it was built with naira, despite its current depreciation, and will therefore generate income.

The Akwa Ibom governor said “Our terminal building is world-class in Africa, our MRO is world-class. If you find one today in the entire Gulf of Guinea, tell me I’ll disassemble this one and build another.

“Look at our MRO; what you see here can accommodate two 747 aircraft as well as eight CRJ aircraft, which we are flying for servicing at the same time.”

“This is the only MRO in this part of the world today, and these facilities are not built with local currency, but we are building this MRO with naira that has no value.”

“I invest in areas where we can see a return on our money. Right now without blinking an eye, I can make over $ 30 million with this MRO if we decide to sell but we are not selling, we will make a foreign exchange from this investment.

“Airbus is on us to come and lease our MRO for all their regional flights, but we are not selling.

“We are going to open up this place ( MRO facility) from January next year for commercial activities and we are going to earn in dollars.”

He thanked Ibom Air’s Board of Directors, Management, and Staff for making him proud, emphasising that “they have done very well.”

Gov. Obaseki, who spoke at the event, stated that Akwa Ibom has become the country’s flagship state for its efforts to invest in and make significant strides in the aviation sector.

Obaseki described Akwa Ibom as the country’s flagship state for its efforts to invest in and expand the aviation sector. “Ibom Air is always completely booked.” Let me thank you on behalf of Nigerians,’’ Obaseki said.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of Ibom Airlines., Mr Mfon Udom announced plans to begin regional flights in 2023.

Udom said the new addition to the fleet of Ibom Air would expand its carrying capacity and boost employment opportunities in the state by 40 per cent.

“With this new capacity coming on board, we are delighted to inform our passengers that we have increased our offerings, providing more frequencies for their convenience.

“The Uyo-Lagos and Uyo-Abuja routes now have three frequencies each every weekday, while our Lagos-Abuja passengers will have seven frequencies to choose from both ways, every weekday,’’ he said.

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Lagos State Boosts Food Supply With Mass Sale of Rice and Cooking Oil

LAISA has commenced the massive sale of rice and soya bean vegetable oils ahead of the December festival

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bags of rice

Lagos state government through the Lagos State Agricultural Inputs Supply Authority (LAISA) has commenced the massive sale of rice and soya bean vegetable oils ahead of the December festival.

The sale which is taking place at different locations in the state is already attracting massive buyers. 

According to the General Manager of LAISA, Mr Bolaji Balogun, places where potential buyers can get the products include New Farm Service Oko-Oba Centre, and Gengeto Bus stop, Abeokuta Road, Lagos.

While speaking to the press, Balogun disclosed that available products include 50kg of rice and 1-3 litres of soya vegetable oil all sold at affordable prices. 

The GM added that the food sale event was a response to the yearnings of Lagosians who demanded affordable rice and cooking oil for the yuletide festival. 

He noted that several people came to LAISA stand for the request at the just concluded Lagos Trade Fair. 

Investors King understands that the Lagos State Agricultural Inputs Supply Authority (LAISA) was established with the mandate to boost food supply in the state and also provide the necessary support such as farm tools to farmers. 

” As a responsible agency of government, LAISA will continue to provide customers/farmers with high quality and healthy food supply at affordable prices as and when available. We also intend to continue to support and encourage farmers on the best farming practice as well,” Balogun noted. 

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has replied to a statement credited to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Nigeria will face food crisis in 2023.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development opposed the position of the global financial institution stating that Nigerians should not panic nor worry about the projection. 

The ministry added that several measures had been put in place to forestall any scarcity of food in Nigeria. 

It added that the government had approved a five-year tax break as an incentive to encourage private investments in the agricultural sector and increased food production, processing and marketing.

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U.S 2024 Elections: Donald Trump Declares For President

Former President of the United States, Donald Trump has once again showcased interest to seek the oval office after he failed re-election in 2020.

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

Former President of the United States, Donald Trump has once again showcased interest to seek the oval office after he failed re-election in 2020. Trump will be expected to tussle the Republic ticket with other potential nominees. 

At his private beach on Tuesday night, Trump said “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States”. 

Trump’s ambition might however not be “Uhuru” as his party, the Republican failed to perform as expected in the midterm election. Although the Republican has been projected to win the majority seats in the house, the party, however, lost the senate including key states. 

In addition, the former US president will likely face stiff opposition from his party as potential co-contestants include his former Vice President Mike Pence and the Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis, who won a resounding reelection victory on November 8.

Unfazed by the opposition and confident in his large following, Trump said “This is not a task for a politician or a conventional candidate. This is a task for a great movement.”

Investors King could recall that in 2020, Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden (Democrat). 

After his exit from office, there have been a number of investigations into his conduct before, during and after his first term as president which could ultimately result in his disqualification.

He is also investigated for inciting violence which led to the drastic attack on the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.

Meanwhile, analysts and observers are divided on Trump’s potential comeback. 

The mid-term election result shows that voters rejected candidates who backed Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud in 2020, and many of his high-profile picks for office struggled or lost out in the race. 

It could be recalled that Donald Trump alleged manipulation in the 2020 presidential election which produced President Joe Biden. Trump claimed he was rigged out and tried to establish a conspiracy to back up his claim.

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