Vanguard (Lagos)

27 March 2014

Nigeria: How Jonathan Stopped NNPC From Buying New Aircraft

Government officials have cited President Goodluck Jonathan's reluctance to approve the purchase of a new jet for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC for the continued hiring of a private jet for the corporation's senior officers, including the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke.

The president's reluctance is despite problems associated with the NNPC's two private jets. One of them, a Hawker 4000, which crash landed in Warri, Delta State, sources said was to be balkanised for spare parts to service another Hawker 4000 in the presidential fleet on account of lack of spare parts following the stoppage of spare parts production by the manufacturer's of the planes.

The other aircraft it was claimed, was abandoned after it lost altitude twice forcing the corporation officers to abandon the two aircraft.

The explanations by government sources followed recent controversies arising from the hiring of a Challenger aircraft by the corporation for the use of the minister and senior officials of NNPC.

Mrs. Allison-Madueke has been at the centre of the criticism and controversy fanned by the country's leading opposition party, the All Progressives Congress and is now the subject of investigation by the House of Representatives.

Sources, however, cited President Jonathan's unwillingness to approve the purchase of a new private plane for the NNPC for the unfolding controversy, despite their claims of that the two planes in the corporation's fleet were unserviceable.

One of the planes it was learnt crash landed in 2012 at the Osubi Airport in Warri and the plane is believed not to have valid warranty for its operations after the crash.

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