Connect with us

Government

Government Expects N20b From Sale of Presidential Jets

Published

on

president buhari
  • Government Expects N20b From Sale of Presidential Jets

Not less than N20 billion (about $50 million) is expected by the Federal Government from the sale of two out of the 10 airplanes in the presidential fleet.

The figure, according to sources, is based on “the current market value” of Falcon 7X and Hawker 4000, as well as their year of entry into service (still recent) and the short distance they have travelled till date.

Aviation experts corroborated the valuation of the aircraft, with some telling the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) that the two aircraft can be conveniently auctioned between the range of $50 milion and $70million in the current market.

In a related development, stakeholders in the aviation industry have urged governments at all levels to start patronising domestic airlines for the growth of the economy and desist from the rather extravagant and unsustainable ownership of jets or airline. They said this against the backdrop of states that still own and others still planning to buy private jets amidst economic recession.

The Chairman, Panel for Sale of Aircraft, Office of the National Security Adviser, last Tuesday put up an advertorial for the auction of two presidential jets – Falcon 7X and Hawker 4000 aircraft.

The Guardian learnt at the weekend that bidders have been pouring in both from home and abroad to check the Falcon 7X at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The Hawker 4000 aircraft is in Zurich, Switzerland.

Our source, who would not want to be mentioned said though the aircraft were for auction, the authorities were looking for a very good bid in the neighbourhood of $50million for the two planes.

At the current market rate, a new Falcon 7X costs $53million and the Hawker 4000 costs $22.9million.

Government bought the Falcon 7X in 2011 at the cost $50 million. It is a three-engine cantilever monoplane with a low-positioned, high swept wing, with a horizontal stabiliser at mid-height and a retractable tricycle landing gear.

The estimated value of all the 10 aircraft in the fleet of the presidency is put at over $450 million, with about N8 billion spent on maintenance and fuel yearly.

Capt. Dung Rwang Pam said given the extra features during initial purchase, usage and maintenance among others, these aircraft should be valued between $50 million and $70 million.

Pam, who is the Chief Pilot at XE Jet, told The Guardian that the aircraft’s types were for the very rich, hence should also be expensive selling them.

He said in other climes, the bid would have been for between 60 and 70 per cent of the initial cost, given the short mileage they have covered since they were bought by the government.

Pam, however, expressed concern that the system may short-change the government in the bidding process.

Managing Director of Aglow Aviation Support Services, Tayo Ojuri, said the white elephant projects – either state-owned jets or airline – are unnecessary and unrealistic amidst seething poverty across the states.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force has said the two aircraft acquired from the presidential fleet would be reconfigured to suit its operational purposes.

The two aircraft were received from the National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj. Gen. Babagana Mongono (rtd), by the Minister of Defence Mansur Dan-Ali on behalf of the Air Force at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar while receiving the planes on behalf of NAF, said they would add impetus to the counter- insurgency operation in the North east as the reconfiguration would enhance operational success.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

Published

on

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

Continue Reading

Government

China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

Published

on

China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

Continue Reading

Government

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

Published

on

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

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

Continue Reading

Trending