Presidential fleet laments poor funding, debt burden

The Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) has lamented the poor funding of its operations due to budget cuts.

The Commandant of the PAF, Abubakar Abdulahi disclosed this to the members of the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence on Thursday during an oversight visit to its base.

The commandant, who was represented by Fleet Operational Officer, Ahmed Dari, disclosed that the budget allocations to the fleet have not been sufficient to take care of the aircraft.

He noted that the fleet is indebted to service providers, adding that the fleet submitted a total budget of N18.7 billion in 2021, but only N12,5 billion was approved in the Appropriation Act, while N10.90 billion was released as of December 2021.

Dari added that in 2022, the fleet proposed the sum of N19.4 billion, but N12.4 billion was finally approved.

“Permit me to also state that most of these debts are owned by service providers overseas. Considering that over 85 percent of the fleet expenditure is forex, the actual budget figure in dollars is further diminished,” he said.

The Chairman of the Committee, Sha’aban Sharada assured the fleet that the lawmakers would consider their challenges.