Jonathan Slammed Over Luxury Jets, As Road, Power, Health Sectors Are In Shambles

•The interior of the Falcon jet

•The interior of the Falcon jet

President Goodluck Jonathan was the butt of criticisms this morning over the decision by his administration to splash $155 million, in one fell swoop,  on three luxury jets,  at a time when the nation is immersed in fresh mounting debts and when roads, health and electricity facilities are in appalling states.

Yesterday, the Federal Executive Council approved the purchases for two Falcon 7X jets and one Gulfstream G550, against the backdrop of a flight hitch Jonathan suffered on his return to Nigeria from the African Union Conference in Kampala, Uganda. The three jets will be delivered between the end of this year and next year, bringing the presidential fleet to seven. Each of the Falcon model cost $51 million, while the Gulfstream, a popular choice of the world’s rich, cost $53 million. From P.M News internet searches, the three jets appear not to be overpriced as the government approved prices fell within the range quoted on the web sites of the manufacturers.

But critics are not assuaged by this seeming transparency, as they question the president’s approval of such a binge buy for aircraft at this time when the nation has even chosen to borrow about $600 million to register voters and $3.5 billion to build a new electricity grid, nationally.

The outgoing President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Oluwatosin Rotimi Akeredolu, asked: “What happened to the presidential fleet? Former President Obasanjo bought one. If N21 billion is to be expended on presidential jets, then that’s not money well spent. But one has to be sure because jets are not something you buy every day,” Akeredolu said.

•President Jonathan.

“If purchasing three presidential jets means increasing the number of jets in the fleet, that’s not good spending. It is important Nigerians should know what happened to the other ones previously in use. To change the whole fleet will be wasteful,” Akeredolu submitted.

Rights activist and publicity secretary, Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG, Mr. Yinka Odumakin described it as extreme form of profligacy which showed that the president does not have his priorities right.

Odumakin said: “At a time they (government) went to borrow money to conduct elections, when education is in shambles. It shows he (Jonathan) is not showing good leadership example. Since he came into office, it has been one profligacy or the other beginning with celebrating his one hundred days in office, N17 billion voted for the celebration of Nigeria’s 50th independence anniversary, the billions of naira budgeted for Abuja airport runway project, among others.”

He condemned the president’s spending spree, stressing, “it shows that he is far removed from the people.”

Odumakin pointed out that the same presidential jet used by the former president of the US, Mr. George Bush was the same jet presently in use by President Barack Obama but it was well maintained by successive presidents in about 30 years.

In the case of Nigeria, Odumakin regretted that nobody was willing to maintain the presidential jets but acquiring new ones was their priority.

He posited that some world leaders like the Prime Minister of Britain do not fly a presidential jet. Instead, he travels in public planes.

But constitutional lawyer and rights activist, Prof. Itse Sagay defended the purchase, arguing that an expenditure of N21 billion was not a big money especially if we think of Mr. President’s safety.

Prof. Sagay said:  “honestly, we have to think of the safety of the president. We all know what happened to him recently in Uganda when his plane developed fault. He had to turn back.

“With Nigerian money, it’s not a big money. The money is not up to one third of what was approved for Jega for elections. When we view it that the presidential jet is not for the president alone, I think it’s a reasonable expenditure.”

The Gulfstream G550, which goes for $53 million, is a breathtaking luxury in the air. The manufacturers describe the 18-seater jet as more than just a flagship. “It is arguably the world’s most versatile and stylish ultra-long-range jet”.

It also boasts of power and efficiency that can travel halfway around the world from New York to Tokyo easily.

The cockpit of Gulfstream G550 is fully stocked with state-of-the-art technology to both aid and protect the pilots and to enable them navigate in most weather conditions. And when the weather turns bad, the Gulfstream Enhanced Vision System (EVS) is included as a standard item on the 500.

The two new Falcon 7x to be supplied by Dassault Aviation of France, is also another luxury on air. Each of the aircraft could convey eight passengers. It is described as “a proven, reliable power plant with the latest technological advances. It has other outstanding features that make it stand out as a jet of choice for the rich.

Dassault, the manufacturer touts the Falcon 7X as a jet ‘that changes the playing field for business jet manufacturers’ operators and pilots.

‘The Falcon 7X is perhaps the most coveted ultra-long range private jet in all of Europe and flies faster, further and higher than its predecessors.

‘It is the largest Falcon tri-jet business aircraft produced, and Dassault states that the Falcon 7X is the world’s first fly-by-wire business jet

‘The fly-by-wire control technology, adapted from Dassault fighter aircraft, adds performance and safety benefits, including precise flight path control, automatic trim adjustment, and basic autopilot functions via the side stick control for setting the heading and attitude.

Configured to carry eight passengers and four crew (three pilots and a flight attendant), the Falcon 7X has an exceptionally long range (10,556km – 5,700nm) allowing one to fly from London to Tokyo or Los Angeles nonstop with a top speed of nine hundred kilometers an hour.

The Falcon 7X went into service in June of 2007. As of the end of 2007, over 200 of the new aircraft type had been sold for delivery from 2008–2014.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Imagine that amount on Presidential Jets,
    what happened to the 2 Falcon 900s, the other Gulf Stream which i cannot remember the model, HS 125, Boeing 727 and the Citation II Presidential fleet, they cannot maintain them again. Instead they opt for new Jets that they will not be able to maintain in future.
    No constant Light, Bad roads, Insecurity and others. Only Revolution can save Nigeria

  2. obj chastised with whips (koboko) but jonathan is going to chastise us with scorpions. i had thought somebody schooled has come to rescue the masses but alas the journey is yet to be embarked upon. the things are going, we are in for another round of disastrous admin. what has changed since untimely exit of umaru? the only thing that has changed is the increase in corruption to a higher level than that of the previous regime. jonathan has not shown any sign that he means well for nigeria and nigerians. ”nawao 4 this country” ”soldierman no good for leadership academician no good too”, who go come be our messiah now?God save us 4 naija. government of nigeria is the most wasteful government in the world. 3 luxurious presidential jets at a go and yet the roads are in shambles, fear in the land, workers still go on strike in this century, power is epileptic, high unemployment of non-skilled, skilled and graduates new and old. which way nigeria?

  3. Fellow nigerians, we’ve got to be frank while contributing on issues like this. i am totally in support of mr president decision, even though we do not dine or wine together. the rule is …it has to be safety first…, we are talking of life and death here. remember, a dead body will not rule dis country. we should be talking of what happens to the old ones. ….they could be disposed @ good prices….Goodluck, ride on and NEVER COMPROMISE SAFETY FOR ANYTHING.

  4. I see nothing wrong with the president buying a new Plane. What I don’t like is the retension of the previous planes. The old plane should be should be sold and the money realized from the sale be used to cushion the effect of the new plane purchase. I don’t like the idea of our president being stranded any where in the world or his plane crashing because of the use of the faulty planes. There will be serious kiosk in our beloved country even when we were anticipating Yaradua demise it was still an issue how much more a sudden event. Kudos to the president for not inflating the prices of the aircraft.

  5. It has been explained that these presidential jets are not meant for the president alone but for all top government functionaries. Jonathan definiely knows that he not going to remain in power forever and such not doing this selfishly but for the benefit of those coming behind him. Please let the president be.

  6. I think this is the end of PDP.Jonathan can not do nothing for Nigeria.2011 they should be ready to go to jail.God bless Nigeria.

  7. It is becoming very obvious that we still have a long and hard road to trek to get to the promised land. Just as we started thinking that we have finally found the Messiah , suddenly Jonathan throws this bombshell at us. My advice to him is that he should not push his LUCK too far cause Nigerians are becoming wiser per day.

  8. GEJ is the most clueless,useless,dumb and deceiptful President i have ever known in my adult years.The dude has presidential powers but totally brainless,lost on wat to do wit Nigeria.
    2011 ma ass.If you love urself Jona lameluck,berra go bak to ur farm.You have missed ur opportunity like others.
    Shame on you

  9. Doctorate degree apart, i always knew the president was really never “intelligent”! I’m afraid he just confirmed my fears. 3 jets at a swoop! Allah kiyaye! Messiah indeed!!!

  10. This confirms that some of these so called political parties especially the so called ruling party are only interested in hijacking power to further entrench corruption with lawlessness in this country. The so called political leadership in Nigeria is full of glorified criminals with official portfolios using security agents to back their looting and thuggery,

  11. Mr. President needs to be more senstive to the plights of the people. While his safety is crucial , he must also note that procuring 3 jets at such amount will not be acceptable to most nigerians concidering the economic reality on the ground and the undesirable infasructures in hospitals and offices and roads.
    Let have only one and the remaining money be used for infrasructural developments . To go ahead with the jets procurement will be tantamount to gross insensitivity in the presidency and the entire cabinets.

  12. Mr. President needs to be more senstive to the plights of the people. While his safety is crucial , he must also note that procuring 3 jets at such amount will not be acceptable to most nigerians concidering the economic reality on the ground and the undesirable infasructures in hospitals and offices and roads.
    Let have only one and the remaining money be used for infrasructural developments . To go ahead with the jets procurement will be tantamount to gross insensitivity in the presidency and the entire cabinets.

  13. Im highly disappointed by president jonathan and the entire FEC.Kai,when we are wallowing in abject poverty and even struggling to make ends meet.NIGERIA IS A BACKWARD NATION WALAHI.

  14. BUY ALL YOU WANT AND CAN,BUT REMEMBER THAT “FROM DUST THOU WAS MADE, AND UNTO DUST THOU SHALL RETURN.”ALL THOSE JETS WILL NOT SAVE YOU ON THE DAY OF ACCOUNTABILITY.
    NO WATER,NO POWER,ROADS ARE IN DEPLORABLE CONDITIONS,INSECURITY ,FEAR,NO JOBS FOR OLD AND NEW GRADUATES,AND MANY MORE,YET THIS BUNCH OF THOUGHTLESS FOOLS ARE WASTING MONEY ON JETS.GOD WILL PUNISH ALL OF YOU.

  15. Buy all you want and can,but remember that “FROM DUST THOU WAS MADE, AND UNTO DUST THOU SHALL RETURN.”All those jets will not save you on the day of accountability.

  16. Jonathan the boy, eat all the money before dawn, it is Nigerians that can take all this nonsense – they will wake up when there is no more oil money to waste.

  17. all Nigeria leaders are bunch of criminals and ritualist, they didn´t care about the poor masses. Jonathan is Obasanjo boy, the grand father of corruption in Nigeria.

  18. This guy baffles me…just when i thought a messiah has finally arrived,little did i know that he is no different from the rest in terms of squandermania. Please Presido, dont disappoint me. Am perplexed!

  19. This is another confirmation that Nigeria can never get to anywhere with this set of leaders. President Jonathan has shown that he is not here to make any difference in leadership if his government can spend such amount when most roads in Nigeria are begging for repairs. By the way is he bigger than Prime Minister Cameron of Britain or Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel who travel by public planes. May God deliver us.

    • I think most pple re just talking rubbish imaging if disaster happened in Uganda what would.ve happened. OBJ spent 16b $ on power yet no light with 23m$ can all our infrastructural problems solved. is Goodluck taking the jet to his family house for keep. We should be realistic. he comes from where the oil money used in buying the jets came from. 1b$ Abasha money where is it. even our editor here said no magomago on price so we shouldn’t talk for talk say our president deserved the best. Jim is an Owo Ondo state man

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