N11.5billion only! Guess who now has ‘the most expensive jet in Nigeria’ [Clue: It’s a former governor]

by Chi Ibe

Private jet

The good guys at soft-sell, Encomium Weekly, appear to have done the maths – and they have now declared the Nigerian with the most expensive private jet in the country as we speak.

Drum-roll for … former Borno Governor, Ali Modu Sherriff!

According to a report by Encomium magazine, former Borno State Governor, Senator Ali Modu Sherriff has “toppled Bishop David Oyedepo as the owner of the largest fleet of private jets in Nigeria with the acquisition of a new jet valued at N11.5 billion”.

According to Encomium:

Former Borno State governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has topped the chart of top 10 private jet owners in Nigeria with the acquisition of a brand new Gulfstream G650 model worth about $72 million (N11.5 billion). Encomium Weekly’s check revealed that it’s the most expensive private jet among wealthy Nigerians who are privileged to have these expensive toys. The latest acquisition brings to four planes in his fleet.

 

We gathered that the aircraft, which was registered in Dubai with special specifications, is the fourth in his fleet, as the former governor already has three old Dornier aircraft which he acquired from Aero Contractors at an estimated $3 million (N480 million).

According to our source, a Dornier aircraft is used for charter services as Sheriff recently obtained an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for his airline, Skybird. But a source said the Gulfstream was acquired for Sheriff’s personal use.

An operator who is aware of the purchase described the aircraft as top of the range, adding that it was unlikely that the former governor would deploy it for commercial service.

The magazine also says he’s trying to evade the law:

A Nigerian pilot and chief executive officer of an airline that provides charter services, said by registering the aircraft overseas, Sheriff had denied Nigeria taxes and import duty on the aircraft.

He added that no Nigerian pilot or engineer would be employed to operate or work on the aircraft because with the foreign registration, only pilots and engineers licensed in the United Arab Emirates would be authorised to operate and service the aircraft.

“By registering the aircraft overseas, he has avoided tax and import duty, which he should pay to a country where he is a citizen and from which he made the money which he now spends on a foreign crew,” he said.
The source also explained that Sheriff would also be paying overseas facility managers for the maintenance of the aircraft and would also pay charges to the company under which the aircraft was registered overseas.

The main price of the aircraft is $65 million but other charges could have raised it to $72 million, and according to US-based Forbes magazine, the Gulfstream G650 has an order book of 200 customers throughout the world.

But, before you angry, someone says this is good news… for America

“A $65 million price tag doesn’t seem to detract from the fascination with this incredible airplane. While the rest of the business aviation industry is battling the depressed economy, there seems to be a buoyant market in the US and abroad for this ultra-high-priced, high-performance jet. “And why not? With a top speed of 92 per cent of the speed of sound (arguably the fastest civilian jet in the world), room for a basketball team, 8,000-statute-mile range and some of the most sophisticated avionics rivalling nearly anything in the sky, this airplane is perfect for doing business on a global scale.

“Because of its superlatives, including price, howev“er, it also appeals greatly to the ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’ crowd,” Forbes said on its Brand Voice website. Gulfstream described the aircraft as ultra-high-speed, ultra-long-range business jet and the gold standard in business aviation. The model was introduced in 2008 with a capacity for eight passengers and a crew of four on nonstop legs of 7,000 nautical miles (12,964 km) for standard configuration.

The former governor sits on the Board of Trustees of the All Progressives Congress.

One comment

  1. where did he get the money from?

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