Akwa Ibom govt spends N5.4 billion on maintenance of one aircraft for governor, family
Meanwhile, N1.4 billion was spent on 10 presidential fleets in 2015
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AN investigation published by The ICIR has revealed how the Akwa Ibom State government spent N5.4 billion in 2019 on the maintenance of only one state-owned aircraft, a Bombardier Global 5000 strictly meant for the use of the governor, Emmanuel Udom and members of his family.
The State House of Assembly had approved N2.5 billion for that purpose but the office of the Secretary of the State Government (SSG) spent N5.04 billion.
In the investigation, Liberty Jet, a New York-based airline operator said the annual cost of flying and maintaining a Bombardier Global 5000 for 400 hours a year is approximately $2,272,015 which is only N693.88 million, at the exchange rate of N305/$1 in 2019.
Another aviation cost company called Aircraft Cost Calculator said the cost of flying and maintaining a Bombardier Global 5000 is $2,525,902 which is equivalent to N770.4 million at 450 hours per year.
Aside from this, details of the company contracted for the maintenance of the aircraft was concealed by the government.
However, further findings revealed that a firm based in Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa named Continued Airworthiness Maintenance Organisation (CAMOSA), was in charge of the maintenance.
The ICIR investigation found that CAMOSA had been conducting business in Nigeria before it was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and has not been paying taxes despite the government’s clampdown on tax defaulters.
Unlike the Akwa Ibom government under Udom’s administration, in 2015, only N1.4 billion was spent on the maintenance of ten presidential fleets of Nigeria.
Apart from this, the amount spent on maintenance of the aircraft is over 40 percent of the amount spent on its purchase.
Former governor of the state, Godswill Akpabio during his term had purchased the state aircraft in June 2012 for the sum of 45 million dollars.
As seen in the state’s budget for 2019, only N1.963bn was budgeted for rural development of Akwa Ibom state while N1.531 was to be spent on Industries and commerce.