No fewer than nine serving governors have so far squandered millions of naira to charter private jets to move around the country for their presidential ambitions.
Ahead of the make or mar presidential primaries of the ruling All Progressives Congress and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, presidential aspirants including the nine serving governors have been travelling across the 36 states and FCT to entice delegates.
While all the aspirants have been travelling across the country in chartered aircraft, the spending of the nine serving governors has attracted public attention and scrutiny, according to Daily Trust.
The governors, who are aspiring for the presidency, include Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Ben Ayade (Cross River), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Mohammed Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa) and Yahaya Bello (Kogi).
Of the nine governors, only Bala Mohammed is serving his first term, the rest are completing their second term in office.
Cost of hiring jets
At the moment, a private jet charter costs between $7,000 (over N4m at 580/$) to $10,000 (N5.8m) per hour depending on the size of the plane.
An operator told Daily Trust, it could be higher when one requests for a bigger luxury jet, which could carry up to 11 passengers like Challenger or Beechcraft Hawker with up to 13 passenger capacity.
In addition, a charter Embraer ERJ 145 for instance, with a 50-passenger capacity, could even cost more depending on the number of waiting hours at the destination airport.
Also, it was gathered that in line with the industry requirement, the private jet operators charge 3,000 dollars per hour, depending on the airline after landing at the airport.
“If it is a two-leg trip – to and fro, you will pay 3,000 dollars per hour as landing and parking charges. It would start reading after the first three hours. The charges vary from airlines,” an aviation expert said.
Wike, Tambuwal compete for trips
Daily Trust’s analysis of reported trips of the governors as of yesterday showed that Governor Wike had visited 20 states including Kaduna, Edo, Kogi, Lagos, Katsina, Kano, Ekiti, Ondo and Cross River all by air using private jets.
It is, however, not clear whether he is chattering the planes or using those belonging to Rivers State.