Nigeria to buy three new jets for president

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Nigeria to buy three new jets for president

Postby Richard Akindele » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:38 pm

ABUJA — Nigeria's government will buy three new jets for the president at a cost of 155 million dollars, officials said Wednesday, even as the oil-rich country seeks financing to provide adequate electricity.

Dassault Aviation of France will supply two Falcon 7x planes, while the Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation of the United States will sell Nigeria a Gulfstream G550.

Information minister Dora Akunyili said cabinet approved the purchase on Wednesday.

"The sum of 21 billion naira has been provided in the 2010 appropriation act for the outright purchase of the two Falcon 7x aircraft and the one unit G550 to be delivered as agreed in the contract," she said.

Akunyili put the cost of the two Falcon jets at 102 million dollars (79 million euros) while the Gulfstream would cost 53 million dollars.

On Tuesday, Jonathan pledged a 3.5-billion-dollar electricity grid for the power-starved African giant, but gave few details on how the pre-election promise would be paid for.

He said it "should be funded as a federal asset with additional financing from private investors and international finance and development agencies."

Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation and the world's eighth-largest oil exporter, but has long been held back by corruption. The government has been unable to provide adequate basic services, including electricity.

Decrepit infrastructure has harmed power distribution and the poor state of the country's refineries has led Nigeria to import fuel despite its wealth of oil and gas.

Presidential elections are set for early next year, and Jonathan, who took over in May after the death of president Umaru Yar'Adua, is widely expected to run.

The first of the two Falcon jets will be delivered by the end of the year while the second Falcon and the Gulfstream are expected to arrive by mid-2011.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/ar ... kF4wjxhKIQ
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Postby Richard Akindele » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:55 pm

It is incredibly perplexing that Nigeria would spend such a huge sum of money on something that doesn't scream urgency.

There is no doubt that the president needs private transportation, since he travels frequently. However, I fail to see the justification for three planes at one time.

First of all, how has the president been traveling in the past? Why suddenly does the office of the president need three planes?

Who idea was this to make this purchase? In reality, it doesn't really matter whose idea it was. The fact that president Jonathan would approve such a purchase, in the face of more highly pressing needs in the nation, is enough for the president to lose my vote in the next election.

President Goodluck Jonathan is clearly not a fiscal conservative. This means he's not the man to look up to for the solution to Nigeria's numerous problems.

It really is sad that we can't get a president that has his head screwed on right.

I can posit an explanation for this boneheaded purchase. It's likely that Nigeria went into certain negotiations with the nations that are selling us those planes. For instance, one of the planes is coming from the USA. I know Nigeria has been working to get it's name removed from the USA's terrorist watch list. The purchase of the planes could very well be what the USA wants in return. Take this for what it's worth, but there has to be a good explanation for lavish spending like this in a bad economy.
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Postby fw12 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:11 pm

The assertion that Western nations may be demanding a quid pro quo is not far fetched. These nations always negotiate for something, whenever we ask for something from them.

I too don't see much sense in a country like Nigeria, with all it's problems, being able to justify spending huge amounts on the purchase of three planes at once.

If the situation is so dare that the president no longer has a plane, how about buying just one plane? If he has an entourage on his trips, the entourage can travel by public airlines. This is what leaders in other nations do, so what makes our leaders different?
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