- Nigeria's private jet owners now spend about N30 billion on maintenance annually
- The older the aircraft the costlier the cost of maintenance
- Nigeria has about 100 private jet owners which is less than what used to be before the economic recession started last year
A report by Leadership indicates that Nigeria's private jet owners now spend about N30 billion on maintenance annually.
According to the report, the number of owners of the luxury jets dropped from 200 to between 50 and 100, with most of them either selling out their private jets or returning them to their original owners abroad.
Before the present government came into power, it was estimated that Nigeria had about 200 private jets owned by individuals.
The number is said to have been halved to about 100 private jets, following cancellation of orders by potential owners before the new government came into office.
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Confirming the cost of aircraft maintenance, the president of National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Engineer Isaac Balami, concurred that it is very expensive, as the issue of safety and engineering are paramount.
Balami said that even though modern aircraft has been able to take care of some of the maintenance by just software applications, the cost of maintaining an aircraft still remains a function of the type of the aircraft and the level of specifications certified by the aircraft maker.
Stating that the cost of maintaining an aircraft does not only end at “C” checks level, he added that there was also need for pre-flight, post flight and weekly inspections too, depending on whether the aircraft is Boeing, Airbus, Bombadier or Gulfstream.
“On average, I will say maintenance cost of private jet costs about $500,000 to $1 million US dollars (N30 billion naira) for a year, depending on the size of the aircraft. The reason is because it is the function of the age of the aircraft.
"The older the aircraft the costlier the cost of maintenance. You must also pay engineers monthly and other costs. All these are part of it," he said.
Balami who rated Nigeria as the third highest private jet owning country pointed out that private jet ownership has reduced in recent times, while there still exist a couple of them.
His words: “Apart from America and China, Nigeria is the third in private jet ownership all over the world. From the last administration, we had over 200 private jets and so many other orders were made.
“It was growing up, although some people later cancelled their orders because of the recession, especially when everything is done in Dollars. France, UK and other advanced countries do not come near to Nigeria when it comes to private jet ownership."
As at March 2014, it was reported that Nigerians spent over $6.5 billion dollars on private jets, making it one of the fastest-growing luxury jet industries in the world.
Some prominent Nigerians who are private jet owners include, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, Senator Ali Modu Sherrif, Mr Femi Otedola, Pastor Ayo Orisetjafor, Otunba Mike Adenuga, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Folorunsho Alakija, Prophet TB Joshua amongst others.
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Recently, about 30 private jets conveyed prominent Nigerians to Minna, the Niger state capital, for the wedding ceremony of General Ibrahim Babangida's daughter.
Watch the Legit.ng TV report on the firepower of the Nigerian Air Force below: