From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence has promised to address the challenges confronting the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF).
The chairman of the committee, who Sha’aban Sharada, made the promise, during an oversight by members to the PAF base, in Abuja, said the parliament is aware of its challenges.
Sharada said “We are not unaware of the challenges that you face. In your earlier submission, that aeroplane maintenance accounts for 46 percent of your overhead cost.
“Thank you for carrying out your responsibilities with utmost patriotism and diligence despite the obvious constraint that confront you. The committee will do what it can to assist the fleet in addressing these challenges.”
The commander of the fleet, Abubakar Abdullahi, while receiving the lawmakers, had said that PAF budgetary allocation in past years were insufficient to fund its operations.
The commander, who was represented by the fleet operations officer, Ahmed Dari, said the fleet’s budget has been affected by the hike in the price of aviation fuel.
He said “I wish to bring to your attention that aircraft maintenance which accounts for 46 percent of the overall budget proposal is an integral part of the overhead cost. Consequently, the shortfall of the overhead greatly affected aircraft maintenance activities in the fleet.
“Some mandatory upgrades were carried out on a credit basis on the fleet’s longstanding relationship with maintenance companies while others have been moved to the year 2023 budget.
“This committee may wish to note that the quality of aircraft maintenance conducted is directly proportional to flight safety and it is critical to the importance of safe operations in the fleet.”