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Presidency Denies Spending £4000 Daily On Presidential Aircraft

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By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah

The Presidency has dismissed insinuations that the federal government is spending £4000 daily to park the presidential aircraft in London.

LEADERSHIP recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari has been in London since May 7 on a medical vacation.

The senior special assistant on media to the president,Garba Shehu in a statement stated that the presidency is constrained to react to criticisms, mostly on social media, on the retention in London of the Presidential Aircraft, NAF 001 as mostly informed by lack of understanding of protocol around foreign trips by Heads of State all over the world.

Shehu stressed that it is important to state that for reasons of protocol, national security, diplomacy and prestige, there is no world leader who travels abroad and is left without plans for immediate return or possible evacuation.

According to him,from operational point of view, this country’s Armed Forces as represented by the Nigeria Air Force are not to abandon their Commander-In-Chief in whichever circumstance he is as this is a standard operating procedure.

“We have also read claims about outrageous fees allegedly paid by Nigeria. The published amounts are totally untrue. Aircraft conveying heads of state all over the world usually enjoy waivers even where payments for parking are differentiated by aircraft categories.

“We have been assured that where the waiver is not granted, payment will not exceed £1,000, which is a quarter of the amount being peddled.

“For the avoidance of doubt, this President is not the first to have a presidential aircraft standing by for him, as he will certainly not be the last.  All past Heads of this country have had this privilege, and the part that surprises the most is that leaders who in the past travelled with three Nigerian aircraft did not suffer this trenchant criticism,” Shehu said.

The presidential spokesman appealed to Nigerians to ignore opposition campaign aimed at derailing this administration’s big plans for the country.

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