Abuja - Despite an economy in recession, state governors are still chartering private jets to travel within Nigeria.
Most of the affected governors are struggling to pay their workers’ salaries, with majority of them owing backlog of salaries despite receiving tranches of bailouts from the federal government.
Hiring an average aircraft to a destination within Nigeria costs about $14,000 (N6.97million at N1 to $1) per return trip that lasts not more than three hours after landing. At the expiration of the three hours, additional $1000 is charged per hour.
Records of some VIP movements at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), Abuja, showed that governors who used chartered private jets regularly include Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (Gombe), Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), and Godwin Obaseki (Edo) and Darius Ishaku (Taraba) .
Daily Trust reports that on December 8, 2016, about 1pm, it was observed that the Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel, flew in a chartered aircraft with some of his close aides.
Within that week, some key personalities who chartered private jets for one engagement or another included Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris; Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku of Taraba State; Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State; Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State; Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, among others.
It was, however, gathered that most of the ministers that sometimes fly in chartered jets do so on complimentary.
- News 24