“Most of the (private) jets are bought by top politicians, oil magnets, and other business moguls in Nigeria”. These are the epitome of Dr. George BN Ayittey’s “phalanx of bandits, gangsters, crooks, and scoundrels who use the machinery of the state to enrich themselves”.

 

In case there is a recent alien visiting from another planet who might wonder as to how these “vampire elites and government ministers” manage to acquire theimmense outlay of “$50m, as the average cost of each brand new private jet”, Dr. Ayittey has your answer in his book, Africa In Chaos. He writes, and I quote: “Dishonesty, thievery, peculation, and embezzlement pervade the public sector. Public servants embezzle state funds, and high-ranking ministers are on the take. Government then becomes irrelevant to the people. What then exists is a vampire state”, en quote.

 

It is unconscionable “that Nigeria currently rival(s) China as one of the two fastest growing private jet markets in the world” – where as a nation Nigeria is dithering on the brink of failed state status. Among so many ills, it is a country that manufactures nothing and exports nothing; it is a country where massive unemployment has rendered its youths as virtual aimless armies of street marauders with no future: giving rise to the hordes of kidnapers and armed robbers in the East, and Boko Haram that wreaks havoc in the North and the Centre.  No wonder “the need for privacy, (and the) fear of insecurity”!

 

The rapacious “luxury trend … among the rich” of Nigeria is mind-boggling in a country where three quarters of its population daily wallow in abject squalor, penury, and poverty; where the scant and long neglected infrastructures are dilapidated and laying in ruins. What a legacy by malfeasants in a country where there are no hospitals or schools worthy of such names; in a country rich in oil and gas, but cannot generate the electricity that could power a medium sized Canadian city!

 

Yet, the aberration that is the “private jet ownership in Nigeria has grown by 650 percent” between 2007 and 2012, placing “the monetary value of all private jets in the country at $7.5bn”. What a country!

 

Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwuma-Eze Obiajunwa

 Nigerian Looters’ Paradise: Wealthy Nigerians Spend $6.5bn on 130 Pr

Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:53 pm (PDT) . Posted by:

“Kayode Adebayo” kayusee1

Source: Punch

Director-General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Dr. Segun Demuren and Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah
| credits:
The growing penchant for
private jets acquisition has cost wealthy Nigerians a sum of $6.5bn
(N1.02tn) in the last five years. Aviation sources reveal that the
luxury trend, which rose by 650 per cent between 2007 and 2012, is
encouraged among the rich by the need for privacy, fear of insecurity
and the urgency required by modern business, TUNJI ABIOYEreports
Private jet ownership in Nigeria has grown by 650 per cent, from 20 jets in 2007 to over 150 jets in 2012.
According to documents sighted in
aviation agencies, the development means that wealthy Nigerians
acquired, at least, 130 private jets with a sum of N1.02tn ($6.5bn)
within the last five years.
This put the private jets aviation
market in Nigeria (the monetary value of all private jets in the
country) at N1.18tn ($7.5bn), using $50m as the average cost of each
brand new private jet.
A private jet goes for between $40m and
$65m, according to the websites of major private jets manufacturers,
like Bombardier of Canada; GulfStream and Hawker Siddley of United
States; and Embraer of Brazil.
According to findings, the common brands of private jets in Nigeria are Gulfstream 450, 550 and 650; Bombardier
Challenger 604, 605; Global Express; Embraer Legacy and Falcons; and
Hawker Siddley 125-800 and 900XP.
Top aviation officials told our
correspondent on Friday that Nigeria currently rivalled China as one of
the two fastest growing private jet markets in the world.
An official with in-depth knowledge of
the situation, who spoke under condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to comment on the matter, said most of the jets were bought
by top politicians, oil magnates and other business moguls in Nigeria.
He explained that the economic downturn
in Europe and the United States had made Nigeria and China to become two of the fastest growing private jet markets in the world.
He said, “Two countries buying private
jets now are China and Nigeria. Europe and America are going through
turmoil; so, their people are no more buying. This accounts for the
trend that whenever some of the private jet manufacturers develop any
new jet, they take them to Nigeria and China.”
“The private jets in Nigeria are owned
by top politicians, oil magnates and business moguls. It is difficult to get the real identities of owners of some of the private jets in
Nigeria because they buy them through some foreign companies in North
America, especially the US. The foreign company then leases it to
another company in Nigeria.”
Investigation by our correspondent also
revealed that there were still several private jets on order by wealthy
Nigerians. Some of the jets, it was learnt, would be delivered this
year, while others would be delivered in 2013 and 2014.
A top official of the Nigerian Civil
Aviation Authority, who asked not to be named, said representatives of
the owners of the private jets on order had already notified the agency
about the order. This, he said, was necessary for the purpose of
registering the aircraft in Nigeria. According to him, some of the
private jets also come with foreign registration credentials.
The Managing Director of Aero Airlines,
Captain Akin George, had recently commented on the increasing number of
private jets being parked at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport,
Abuja.
He particularly lamented the fact that
most of the private jets carried foreign registration credentials. He
had subsequently called on the authorities concerned in the country to
make registration processes in Nigeria friendly and attractive.
During a recent visit to Abuja, our correspondent observed that over 40 private jets were parked at the terminal.
The CEO of another airline also said
that during political meetings or big functions in Abuja, over 50
private jets were usually seen parked at the Abuja airport.
These, he said, were different from the ones parked at the Lagos and other major airports across the country.
“If you go to the old local wing at the Abuja airport, there is virtually no place to park private jets again,” he said
Just on Thursday, a team of officials
from the headquarters of Bombardier in Canada arrived at the Executjets
Private Hangar at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, to showcase one
of their latest private jets, Global 6000.
The team was led by the Sales Director,
Africa, Bombardier Business Aircraft, Mr. Robert Habjanic, who said that the team was on a tour of 12 cities in Africa, including Lagos.
Habjanic, who spoke with a few aviation journalists, told our
correspondent that Nigeria was the company’s largest market in Africa,
with about 35 Bombardier-made business aircraft currently flying its
airspace.
He said the team had also showcased the relatively new business jet in other parts of the world.
He confirmed that “private business in Nigeria has been growing tremendously in the last five years.”
He attributed this to the fact that “Nigeria is an emerging market.”
The growth in the purchase of private
jets in Nigeria has also led to the development of multimillion dollars
private jets hangars, where repairs and maintenance could be done in the country. Some of these include Execujets Nigeria Hangar, Caverton
Hangar and EverGreen Hangar, all located at the Lagos airport.
Speaking on the development, industry
expert, Mr. Olumide Ohunayo, said, “The economy is expanding, with
increasing investments within the country and the region. This will
invariably necessitate instantaneous travel that scheduled airlines
cannot provide.
“Also the privacy needed in a country
filled with paparazzi can be an issue. Increasing political and
religious issues are contributory. By and large, it will continue to
increase if the economy continues with a lot of diversification inputs
that naturally spread wealth.”