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Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Ade0001(m): 7:46am On Jul 16, 2013
When Nigeria dispatched a jet from its Presidential Air Fleet late last month to fetch Malawi’s President, Joyce Banda, to Abuja, it unwittingly drew attention to our government’s fiscal recklessness. It was lost on President Goodluck Jonathan that while Banda had sold her cash-strapped country’s only presidential jet to save costs, he has, in three years in office, expanded Nigeria’s executive fleet to 10 aircraft.

Neither the reality of over 60 per cent of the population living in poverty, nor the recent alarming revelation by the Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that government’s revenue inflow had dwindled to a dangerous level, has persuaded Jonathan to pare down the size of the Presidential Air Fleet. Instead, it is projected to rise as provision has reportedly been made to purchase two additional helicopters to ensure the President, Vice-President, their families, and other top functionaries travel in luxury at public expense.

Banda was in Nigeria to deliver the keynote address at the Global Power Women Network Africa summit in Abuja at the invitation of Nigeria’s First Lady. To ease her trip to Nigeria’s capital, our generous government dispatched a jet to pick her from Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, and return her home after the event. That is to be expected since Malawi lacks a presidential aircraft.

Shortly after assuming the presidency in 2012, Banda had taken a critical look at her country’s economy. Almost 40 per cent of the national budget came from aid donors, while revenues from its major exports – tobacco, tea, coffee and sugar – were falling due to lower global demand and prices. Moreover, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank had withdrawn most aid in response to the purchase in 2009 of a presidential jet by Banda’s predecessor, Bingu wa Mutharika, and his abandonment of an IMF-dictated adjustment programme. Other donors followed the World Bank/IMF lead.

Besides selling the presidential plane for $15 million, Banda also sold off a fleet of 35 Mercedes Benz limousines reserved for the president and the cabinet. She cut her own salary by 30 per cent, among other austerity measures. Her actions won praise around the world and convinced the IMF and other aid donors to return with credit and handouts to back the government’s ongoing painful structural adjustment programme.

But Nigerian leaders will not sacrifice their own comfort for anything. Even in a rich country like Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron and cabinet members took pay cuts in response to the global recession and the spending cuts that the government introduced. Here, our leaders are obsessed with living in luxury, regardless of the mass of people who are poor, the lack of infrastructure, mass unemployment and dwindling revenues. Okonjo-Iweala’s warning that the government may run out of money to pay salaries by October in the face of massive oil theft and vandalism of pipelines that have sharply reduced oil production and revenues has not jolted officials. Neither the wasteful Executive nor the overpaid legislators are ready to give up their luxurious lifestyles.

But British leaders often take commercial flights and, occasionally, trains when travelling for state functions. Japan, with its Gross Domestic Product of $4.52 trillion and per capita income of $36,200, (at Purchasing Power Parity), has only two aircraft – Boeing 747 – 400 – for use of the prime minister and the emperor; the Netherlands, with GDP of $770.2 billion and PCI of $42,300, has two; the British Queen, Elizabeth II, and Cameron travel on chartered British Airways flights, despite their country’s $2.32 trillion GDP and PCI of $38,700; South Africa has just one presidential aircraft with its GDP of $678.6 billion and PCI of $11,300, though it expects another soon, while Malaysia has one, but has also ordered a second; but with its GDP of $492 billion and PCI of $16,900, like others cited, Malaysia is ahead of Nigeria with a GDP of $450.5 billion and PCI of $2,700.

Given these scenarios, it is high time we ended this absurdity. Today, the aviation sector is in dire straits. How does one explain that only two domestic airlines – Arik, with 23 planes, and Aero Contractors with 14 – have larger fleets than this one kept for a few at public expense? Over N9 billion is believed to be spent on the maintenance of the presidential fleet each year, while the PAF required 47 Nigerian Air Force officers, 173 airmen/airwomen and 96 civilian employees on full time call in 2012.

Nigerians, however, desperately need a government that exists to serve the people, not a few. Successive governments have demonstrated incompetence and abused and misused public funds. There should be minimum ethical standards and decorum in public office. Other developing nations like Ghana where a former president, John Kufuor, once disposed of a spare presidential aircraft, retaining only one, should shame us into prudent conduct.

Jonathan has no excuse to continue keeping 10 aircraft and our under-performing legislators have no reason to keep approving new purchases or the billions of naira they appropriate for their maintenance each year. But, ultimately, it is only when the electorate shakes off its lethargy and demands accountability and responsibility from public officials that things will change for the better.

http://www.punchng.com/editorial/nigerian-jet-for-malawian-president/

49 Likes

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Maxymilliano(m): 8:29am On Jul 16, 2013
Ade0001: Jonathan has no excuse to continue keeping 10 aircraft and our under-performing legislators have no reason to keep approving new purchases or the billions of naira they appropriate for their maintenance each year.


It doesn't make any economic sense to continue keeping 10 aircraft for a government that is serious in curbing fiscal profligacy, the cost of maintenance and associated charges in keeping 10 aircraft is not healthy for the economy

Ihe grossly under-perforimg and under-productive legislatures should also wake up to their responsibilities and provide a semblance of checks on some of the activities of the executive rather than just serving as leeches and getting paid for doing next to nothing ...

16 Likes

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by solomon111(m): 8:34am On Jul 16, 2013
Maxymilliano:

It doesn't make any economic sense to continue keeping 10 aircraft for a government that is serious in curbing fiscal profligacy, the cost of maintenance and associated charges in keeping 10 aircraft is not healthy for the economy

Ihe grossly under-perforimg and under-productive legislatures should also wake up to their responsibilities and provide a semblance of checks on some of the activities of the executive rather than just serving as leeches and getting paid for doing next to nothing ...
I agree.
Those jets are wasteful.

5 Likes

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by tempex88(m): 8:43am On Jul 16, 2013
As China is to NIgeria; so is Nigeria to Malawi and some other African Nations.
Dont take it P. Its a Bait.

3 Likes

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Nobody: 8:51am On Jul 16, 2013
When i saw the photo. I wonder ooo

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by taharqa2: 8:55am On Jul 16, 2013
Maxymilliano:

It doesn't make any economic sense to continue keeping 10 aircraft for a government that is serious in curbing fiscal profligacy, the cost of maintenance and associated charges in keeping 10 aircraft is not healthy for the economy

Ihe grossly under-perforimg and under-productive legislatures should also wake up to their responsibilities and provide a semblance of checks on some of the activities of the executive rather than just serving as leeches and getting paid for doing next to nothing ...
I align myself to these Sentiment of yours, completely.... Sell off a chunck of those jets (if they are actuali up to 10) , and save cost

2 Likes

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Tolexander: 8:58am On Jul 16, 2013
Fresh air = cluelessness!

5 Likes

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by geeez: 9:06am On Jul 16, 2013
Trust me some people will come here and defend GEJ for wanting to buy more planes than the Malawian president has in her fleet of cars

The amount spent on the maintenance of these aircrafts can build a power plant for a community in a year

19 Likes

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by pazienza(m): 9:07am On Jul 16, 2013
Who bought them in the first place? Bunch of wicked leaders that this colonial entity has been cursed with.

2 Likes

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by PointB: 9:15am On Jul 16, 2013
Maxymilliano:

It doesn't make any economic sense to continue keeping 10 aircraft for a government that is serious in curbing fiscal profligacy, the cost of maintenance and associated charges in keeping 10 aircraft is not healthy for the economy

Ihe grossly under-perforimg and under-productive legislatures should also wake up to their responsibilities and provide a semblance of checks on some of the activities of the executive rather than just serving as leeches and getting paid for doing next to nothing ...


I concur!
Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Delafruita(m): 9:36am On Jul 16, 2013
taharqa2: I align myself to these Sentiment of yours, completely.... Sell off a chunck of those jets (if they are actuali up to 10) , and save cost
am i in dreamland?you do realise this sentiment you align yourself with is a big indictment of Mr Fresh Air
Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by ITbomb(m): 9:59am On Jul 16, 2013
Malawi just could not afford to keep the jets but Nigeria could
What is the essence of the African brotherhood if not to help one another .
That the government is spending excessively and the citizens lack to will to question or stop it should not be the fault of Jonathan.
The logic is this , if Nigerians cannot question their LGA Chairmen about the over N50m coming to council every months , why should they bother about how FG in far away Abuja is spending the free , unaccounted money

8 Likes

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Double194(m): 10:22am On Jul 16, 2013
ITbomb: Malawi just could not afford to keep the jets but Nigeria could
What is the essence of the African brotherhood if not to help one another .
That the government is spending excessively and the citizens lack to will to question or stop it should not be the fault of Jonathan.
The logic is this , if Nigerians cannot question their LGA Chairmen about the over N50m coming to council every months , why should they bother about how FG in far away Abuja is spending the free , unaccounted money
Am so sorry to say this, but U are very stpyd. U think bein extravagant with public fund is right cos of lack of accountability? U think accountability is a one man affair? U think Abuja is far? Dude U seriously need to get intouch with technology.

34 Likes

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Nobody: 10:30am On Jul 16, 2013
Only violent revolution will stop such insolence

9 Likes

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by ichommy(m): 10:32am On Jul 16, 2013
Hmm
Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by bloggernaija: 10:33am On Jul 16, 2013
How do you expect pea-brained dolt to spend money they did not work for.
PUNCH,STOP BEATING A DEAD HORSE.
Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by dridowu: 10:41am On Jul 16, 2013
nigeria jet 4 rentage soon, it will serve as an incme 4 nigeria. Smdh 4 fresh pis

1 Like

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by DeCleff(m): 10:43am On Jul 16, 2013
barnabasj:

When i saw the photo. I wonder ooo

I wonder pass u ooooo
Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by yuzedo: 10:48am On Jul 16, 2013
And it would've been ungracious/insulting if Banda spurned the Nigerian Government's offer, even though that's exactly what should've happened.

Well, who no like awoof? Better to eat Naija's money than her country's own.

1 Like

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Paschal007: 10:49am On Jul 16, 2013
This is very wasteful from Gej. What do they need all those jets for? Something countries with better economy are not doing.
Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by ITbomb(m): 10:52am On Jul 16, 2013
Double194: Dude U seriously need to get intouch with technology.
And technology is sitting in the comfort of ur house getting the figures of what the Senators are earning or how the allocations are shared . And barking on the internet about revolution.
U still can't do nothing Sir.
Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by bknight: 10:55am On Jul 16, 2013
Mr President, this is embarrassing to read.

As a bigboy I know d president of africa's most populous country needs to populate his fleet of aircrafts accordingly but with 3 you will still outshine even the queen.

I'm tired of the 'opposition' taking cheap shots at you. Don't give them reasons to.

Pls, act accordingly. For the sake of the one vote you'll get from me. Except, of course, my vote doesn't matter undecided
Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Nobody: 10:57am On Jul 16, 2013
ITbomb:
And technology is sitting in the comfort of ur house getting the figures of what the Senators are earning or how the allocations are shared . And barking on the internet about revolution.
U still can't do nothing Sir.
I bet u won't survive d revolution wen d sh*t is on.

1 Like

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Psalhadeen: 10:58am On Jul 16, 2013
Another Gaddafi in d making?
Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Nosyke(m): 11:01am On Jul 16, 2013
After reading this................................




















I give up on Nigeria

4 Likes

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by segzicres(m): 11:01am On Jul 16, 2013
Why would the president need a red carpet at noght? Stupi dity at iys zenith. 10aorcrafts? *sigh* itbomb os right to some extent, if we dont question these ppl fast they will run down this nation. RIP NIGERIA
Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Nobody: 11:02am On Jul 16, 2013
.
Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Lordave: 11:03am On Jul 16, 2013
Jenams: Only violent revolution will stop such insolence
all these gra gra go end on Nairaland.

2 Likes

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Walexz02(m): 11:03am On Jul 16, 2013
Wao! This is surprising! 10 what?
Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by Nobody: 11:04am On Jul 16, 2013
The difference between Nigeria and other countries highlighted by the OP is that our money pumps in like water(OIL) while the other nations tax their citizens.

We are rich nation not by human resources but with natural endowments.


Btw... Airforce 1 jet of the American President can swallow all of Nigerias presidential fleet.

3 Likes

Re: Nigerian Jet For Malawian President by DANATYORG: 11:04am On Jul 16, 2013
Lols

1 Like

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