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No request of presidential jet sent to us from presidency – Senate

The Senate, on Thursday, announced that there was no request from the Presidency to approve the purchase of a Presidential aircraft.

Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, during plenary, dismissed speculations that the Upper Chamber was debating the approval of a Presidential aircraft in the 2024 supplementary budget.

The Senate Leader added that there had been no basis for the Red Chamber to debate whether to approve a Presidential aircraft or not.

“As we sit here, a section of the social media had also been circulating that we had gone into an executive session to discuss about the presidential request for a new plane and how we are going to approve it.

“Let me alert Nigerians that there is the presence of a fifth columnist and some other propagandists who are doing everything possible to destabilise this country and also destabilise the parliament.

“I say for the record, as the Leader of this Senate, that there is no request before us  as of yet,” Bamidele said.

What the Senate President said

On his part, Senate President, GodsWill Akpabio said the Senate will approve the proposal for the purchase of a new presidential jet if President Bola Tinubu makes a request for it.

He, however, said there was no request for the approval of the purchase of a presidential jet before it.

“We care about the president, and we care about the Nigerian people. We will approve things that will benefit the Nigerian people.

“We will approve things that would improve the living standard of the people. At the same time, we will also take cognizance of the duties of the president.

“If his vehicle is bad, we will repair the vehicle. If his plane is bad, we will approve money for the repair of the plane. So that is not an issue. There is nothing before us. I don’t think you should worry about it,” Akpabio said.

Backstory

There have been speculations that the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence has asked the Federal Government to immediately purchase new airplanes for Tinubu and Shettima.

The committee was alleged to have made the call in a report issued after its technical subcommittee conducted a hearing on the status and airworthiness of aircraft in the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF).

In April, President Bola Tinubu resorted to a commercial aircraft on his way to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Riyadh after the aircraft he travelled with to The Netherlands developed a fault.

Around the same time, Vice-President Kashim Shettima was seen arriving in Ogun state in a chartered aircraft.

The vice-president would later abort his trip to the US mid-air after the aircraft transporting him developed an engine fault.

The current fleet, maintained by the presidential air fleet (PAF), an arm of the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), include Boeing 737 Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), a Gulfstream G550, a Gulfstream GV, two Falcon 7x and one Challenger CL605.


Source: TheTimes.com.ng.

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