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Private Jets: Misplacement of Priorities

19 November 2012, 11:01

Recently, it was reported in the media that Nigeria presently holds the record of a nation with the highest ownership of private jets in Africa. This is indeed worrisome for a nation characterized by a plethora of problems. This points to one direction, CORRUPTION, within the system.  As far as I’m concerned, this is indeed bad news for the country.


This is a country where school graduates ride ’okada’ as a means of livelihood while others sell newspapers on the streets. The irony of a nation that is endowed with huge oil resources but only a few privileged individuals is stupendously wealthy. Oh, Nigeria, a nation where about 80 percent of the total population still lives on less than $1 per day. It is baffling that there are super ‘duper’ wealthy class of persons whose private jets ownership exceeds the rest of African countries. But it is more worrisome when these jets are owned by the politicians and other public office holders.


From my own research, a jet costs between N2.4 billion and N9 billion. Am not too surprised because in the past, corruption cases were in millions of naira but today, they are in millions of dollars and billions of naira. Does a country whose middle name is corruption and lawlessness deserve to be called the “Giant of Africa”? No.


Over the years, we have not fared better in any index of development yet ownership of state-of –the-art jets in Nigeria has increased to over 200 in 2012 from 50 in 2008.


This shows how the whole system is riddled with systemic corruption and officially-sanctioned profligacy. Some people may argue that it is the prerogative of individuals to decide what to do actually with their wealth but I think that this mad rush by private individuals (businessmen, bankers and politicians) to acquire private jets is fast becoming a culture that should be stopped for the general good of the nation. It is indeed unnecessary show of power, status and personal ego.


The country is faced with a plethora of problems and the only thing the so called rich politicians could think of was to acquire private jets. Most states are faced with the environmental problems caused the flood. There is unemployment and poverty in the land. The country is still struggling with insecurity occasioned by armed robbery, terrorism and kidnapping yet our leaders are not bothered but only concerned with personal comfort at the expense of the good people of Nigeria.


Both the health and the education sectors are in deep shamble, yet the number of private jets in the country keeps rising.


I, just like any well meaning Nigerian condemn this new culture of acquiring private jets as a way of showcasing affluence. In fact, these public office holders especially the state governors should be more concerned with governance and development of their respective states and not using the tax payers’ money to acquire luxuries.


Indeed, this is an avoidable drain on the sates’ resources and there is no reason whatsoever for such ego-tripping. This culture of stupendous consumerism is a clear indication of misplacement of priorities and lack of vision.


State governors should channel such resources into delivering the dividends of democracy to the masses. They should better compete on development and not on private jets.


I'm of the opinion that government should regulate the unnecessary acquisition of luxuries especially jets by placing high taxation on them. On the other hand, the nation’s aviation industry should be improved to international standard to curb this new culture of private jet acquisition before it gets out of hand. God deliver us from the hands of our wicked leaders! 

 
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
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