Nigeria’s club of jet owners

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The recent media report that Nigeria is now holding the enviable record of a country with the highest private jet ownership in Africa is unarguably rankling.

This untoward development has brought into sharper focus the paradox of a nation that is endowed with huge oil resources but where only a few privileged individuals are wealthy. In a country where the average citizen or over 70 percent of the population lives on less than $1 per day, it is astonishing that there is a super rich class of business moguls, bankers, preachers, politicians and oil magnates whose private ownership of jets is more than that of any other country in the continent. The report has it that ownership of state-of-the-art jets in Nigeria has increased to over 200 in 2012 from 50 in 2008.

It also indicates that N1.30 trillion may have been spent by Nigerians in the last seven years to acquire jets. The cost of a jet ranges between N2.4 billion and N9 billion. Though successive Nigerian administrations have generously dubbed the country as the “Giant of Africa,” the reality on ground indicates that Nigeria does not deserve to be so called.

Ours is a system riddled with systemic corruption and officially-sanctioned profligacy. Over the years, we have not fared better in any index of development by any African and global ranking bodies. While it is the prerogative of individuals to decide what to do with their money, we think that the rush by wealthy Nigerians to acquire private jets is fast becoming an obsession that should be curbed.

The new craze among public office holders is unnecessary show of power, prestige and personal ego. Acquiring a private jet has now become a status symbol for a few privileged nouveau riche Nigerians including members of the political elite. Given that some oil-rich states of the Niger Delta region can afford the luxury of a private jet for their chief executives, the same can hardly be said of other states of the federation where basic necessities of life are still a campaign issue. Even among the oil-rich states, some environmental challenges occasioned by years of oil exploration and exploitation are still begging for attention that acquisition of jets cannot be a top priority.

The recent havoc caused by flood in many parts of the country shows the enormity of environmental problems facing most of the states. Besides, every state in the country is bedevilled by the blight of unemployment and poverty. The country is still battling with general insecurity occasioned by armed robbery, kidnapping, terrorism and other social ills.

Moreover, the nation’s education and health sectors are in a shamble, yet we parade the highest number of jet owners in Africa. We decry the new craze to acquire jets among Nigerians, especially the public office holders. In fact, public office holders should seriously face governance and other developmental issues and do away with the tendency to buy jets.

Apart from being an avoidable drain on the state’s resources, there is no need and justification for such ego-tripping. This overt and stupendous consumerism culture epitomizes poverty of ideas and misplacement of priorities. It should be stopped forthwith. While there is nothing basically wrong with private individuals owning jets, we should not bring the Nigerian factor to bear on it so that it does not become nauseating.

We urge Nigerians to moderate their taste for ostentation and curb the new craze. We appeal to state governors to channel those resources to the enhancement of democracy deliverables to the people. Let them compete on developmental issues and not on jets. Above all, government should regulate the acquisition of luxury goods including jets by increasing taxation on them. Efforts should be geared towards improving the nation’s aviation industry.

Perhaps, the mad rush to acquire private jets can be lessened if the aviation sector is working. People resort to acquiring jets to possibly overcome the shortcomings of the ailing aviation sector. A situation where only two or three private airlines service the nation’s domestic flight needs is not good enough. Floating a functional national carrier in addition to having a few more functional and effective private operators can largely address the problem.

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44 Comments

  1. Nigeria by all existence does not have a millionaire, rather what is in Nigeria are band of rogues under the name of Oil magnate, Business mogul, Political elites and so on. Otherwise most of them do not pay tax commensurate to their acquisitions. Dangote told us that price of cement will fall drastically if allowed to buy our general patrimony, he did and what is happening today. Price of cement remains on the higher side than before. Jimoh ibrahim collected money from aviation intervention fund and used it to buy estates in UAE (Dubai). Check Otedola and fuel subsidy scam. Chimaroke nnamani and Enugu state fund allocation including james ibori and lucky igbinedion.

  2. EVEN WITH AVIATION WORKING, WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO STOP THIS CRAZY TREND. I THINK ITS TIME PASTORS GIVE BACK TO THEIR FOLLOWERS AND ITS TIME POLITICAL ROBBERS SEARCH THEIR SOUL AND KNOW WHATS RIGHT

  3. Your write up posit a super rich oligarchs, where as that is hardly the case. No one, I mean no one heard about these new super embezzlers of public funds, ten yrs ago. As a matter of fact, five yrs ago, some of them could not even afford one square meal. At school, their children routinely go on 0-0-1 which typically means water for breakfast, water for lunch, and then fufu, amala, or tuwo in the night, with zero kanda, kpomo or rain coat. This article while well written, failed to clearly indicate that money used to buy these private jets is money siphoned from public coffers. That is one clear omission too many.!

  4. It is corruption that is the real terrorist in Nigeria. Nigeria parades the most selfish leaders in the world. Rather than fixing bad roads from which everybody can benefit, they cris-cross the length and breath of Nigeria with choppers. Rather than fixing ailing aviation sector, they resort to owning private jets individually from the masses loot. Rather than fixing refineries to make fuel more available and affordable, they institute fictitious policies of fuel subsidy which help politicians to siphon trillions of Naira through their off-springs. The injustice in this country is pervasive. One thing we can do is for the masses to come together as a people – regardless of ethnic/religious difference – and fight corruption. Fact is, regardless of our differences (be you Christian or Muslim, Ijaw, Ilaje, Bassa, Nupe, Hausa, Fulani, Igala, Tiv, Jukun, Idoma…) we are all faced with same challenges when roads are bad, schools/hospitals are not functioning, power is not available, employment opportunities are not there and flame of painful survival is fanned by crippling inflation. Our challenges are basically the same and to be able to conquer, we must act TOGETHER! The missing link in our struggle in Nigeria is this togetherness. Some of our leaders have continued to take advantage of this weakness by sharpening focus on our differences rather than on factors which can unite us all – they feed fat on our inability to unite. We must begin to act together, to elect leaders on the basis of competence rather than sentiments of nepotism and religion. Same goes for employment opportunities and school admissions. Coming together to fight corruption offers bond which is stronger than steel and will crush any opposition. It is this strength that we need t turn things around in Nigeria.

  5. SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS, CORTISY OF OUR UNGUIDED AND CORRUGATED CAPITALIST ECONOMY, BUT WHO WILL STOP THE MADNESS?.

  6. i will advise all commentators on this fora to stop all this rantings. If we are to investigate most of you , wat we find would be quite shocking. you criticize these affluent pple yet maltreat your fellow brothers even at your level.
    Many of you would gladly vote for these pple if the price is right.
    I suggest you all keep your traps shut.
    I rest my case

  7. These stupendous rich Nigerians should know that the poor can not sleep because they are hungry and indeed they, the rich, can not also sleep because the poor are awake. What goes around comes around, and, very fast in Nigeria.

  8. BUHARI HAS DONE IT BEFORE, HE HAS DONE IT WHILE I WAS IN BORNO STATE WHEN HE WAS THEN THE MILITARY GOVERNOR OF BORNO STATE AND HE WILL STILL DO IT AGAIN.

  9. New way in nigeria, they no longer go for
    cars, rather, they choose going for private
    jets, May God help us, those that are meant to
    help and protect us, now eat our flesh as
    meat, they drink our blood like win, they
    watch our children die, who cares, the
    children who are supposed to be protected
    by their elders, are now poisoned by their
    elders. Nigeria, you are highly blessed, but
    people who you were intrusted in their hands
    to take care of you, has betrayed you and
    make you a slave in your fathers house.
    may God help the poor in this country, men of
    honour and good record dying like fowls,
    because there is know money to fly them
    abroad, what do you want them to do, the
    roads are not motorable, if u try to manage
    the road, it may claim ur life, so is better they
    start flying and leave the road for thos who
    hate their life just because they dont have
    money, but let me ask, how many days are
    they goning to spend here on earth, the bible
    said that men born of a woman, have few
    days to stay. Nigeria, your graduates are not
    recorgnized in any part of the world, your
    universties are mere glorified primary
    schools, standard education are certainly for
    the rich, the poor can go to cut, our girls are
    now point and kill in the hands of our
    lecturers in our higher institutions, for you to
    pass your asignment, you have to pay, infact
    you have to pay for everything at ones and
    save yourself the stress, when you manage to
    come out from the university, NYSC takes you
    to northern village, where u hear no
    language, no network at list to cry out for
    help, after facing all the danger in the north,
    he comes back to sit idle at home, or may be
    teaching in a private day care center. Oh my
    country, look at your hospitals, like poultry
    who’s owner past on long time ago, look at
    our libraries, its now like a nite club joint,
    doctors will never lay their hands on you,
    unless you pay first, who cares if the animal
    called patient dies, our police, ha ha ha, even
    the children are now smatter than them,
    because of bribe, yes what do u want me to
    say, a child know the difference between red
    abd white, but police dont know the different
    between red and black. Pastors, ha ha ha, you
    have to go for private jet first, and every other
    things will be added. Oil, wow that is the
    beginning of our failure, today a Phd holder
    now apply for the post of a driver, today,
    doctor now work as bankers in our banks,
    lawyers who cannot open their chamber,
    now work as doctors in the hospital, our
    leaders are idle, lazy, visionless, waiting for
    monthly alocations to squander. God please
    help use, if one can come for a holiday in
    heaven, God you would have seen me for a
    long time now, God am begging you in Jesus
    Christ name, Jesus am Begging you with
    God’s name, come down and help us. But
    there is still hope, if those that are called by
    my name will humble themselves and pray, i
    will hear them from heaven i will answer
    them and i will heal their land. Facebook team,
    we are in democracy, people are free to share
    their views, please let my account be, i did not
    treathen anyone.

  10. Like you just open your eyes….because you see some of the thief ones bought private jets.

    They have been since after the war looting and carrying our money dump it abroad and come back home empty handed only with paper… credit cards thereby lossing the money to foreign countries.

    Nigeria needs only two good party system ….

    Not one like PDP and opponents like rats…What a cat she is that wins many rats.

    I am not a politician but why every year one sigle party will be wining election from military civil rule to military democracy in Nigeria???

    The Lord says Luke 12;2

    There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3- What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.

    4“-I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5-But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him

    Luke 12:20- But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

    Lk 12:21“ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things/money for himself but is not rich toward God.”

    Only 30% of the Nigerian people are busy robbing other 70% with political charms and states gun power- corrupting religous leaders by bribing and buying them private jets.

    70% of Nigerian are suffering in the hand of theses thiefs…but the funnest part of it is that these thiefs are indirectly forcing all others who hate crime to start commiting crime in the highest leval.
    When a governor will comb the that facing monetay hard ship in his state and smulggled them into another state over night… six hundred people packed in a cow trailer from lagos state and dumped them over night at Onicher Anambra state.

    Is it one Nigeria now or three?

    Where are we Mr one Nigeria???

  11. While we rant and rage about corruption , we sit and expect the problem to be solved by who?

    if you are tired of all these start an action that will stop it.Remember what happened in Egypt?

  12. Nigeria is already dead as a country just waiting to be buried by the same people that sniffed life out of her, our leaders. Jonathan was a fatal mistake. He is the worst Nigerian leader in history, even worst than Abacha.

  13. I weep. Where is Nehemiah of our time. Could it be you reading this article or me. Think! Revolution eminent. Jeremiah prayed; “d hour is now, there will be no more delay”. Hw long wil u fold ur hand n watch as a youth? U expect ur children to grow up n act? Wat wil u tel dem wer d actions u took in ur youthful age? Can’t u be d Gideon of our time? We r armed wit d social media which was d major avenue used in d Arab-wind. Its time u set aside ur political, religious n ethnic differences n fight 4 2moro. D call is on. D train is moving. Remember: D TIME IS NOW OR NEVER. AND U, I IS LEADING. Send throug al social media as fast as u cn to as many as u cn. D MANDATE IS FREEDOM.

  14. I have no problem with those buying private jets. They are not all thieves. Some honestly earned their money. My advice to them is that they should not be spending much money in buying the jets and being cheap about the maintenance of such jets. They should pay qualified pilots to fly them. Where I live, there are many private jets. Many have lost their lives in private jets. Private jets hardly kill the poor. So please spend some more to enjoy you private jets. Goodluck.

  15. HISTORY MUST BE TOLD.PETERS on

    I dont no if we still rember the OLD OPERA, the rich aslo CRY, D Rich will also cry in this enity. MARK IT !!! all of us will soon be on the AIR and leave the death trap roads 4 d reptiles., no 2 ways abt tht.

  16. Nigeria needs a revolution. All this talk talk wont take us anywhere. We need a leader who will bring the old order down or let us be restive, i am personally tired of this deceit.

    • ALL OUR COMMENTS ARE GOOD AND CONNECTING BUT ABOVE ALL, IN SINCERITY, JUDICIARY IS TO BE BLAMED FOR ALL THE PROBLEMS IN NIGERIA. THERE IS NO CREDIBLE JUDICIARY. IF YOU HAVE A COUNTRY WITH A PERSISTENT CORRUPTION, CHECK THERE JUDICIARY. THE LAW IN NIGERIA HAS DIED. PRAY DAT GOD HIMSELF SHALL VISIT NIGERIA AND NIGERIANS. GOD BLESS

  17. pls pardon me if I sound foolish. I think the solution to this problem is that teachers at all levels of learning who inculcate integrity, honestly and dignity of labor should be appreciated and positively rewarded. Without this, as long as the destiny moulder who assisted all of u to acquire the knowledge u have is looked down upon and his profession made

  18. How many souls can a MAN-OF-GOD who is competing with jet owners in the country win for Jesus? Jesus Christ and His Apostles walked during their days. MEN-OF-GOD fly in private jets today with monies from the poor.

  19. Look, everyone talking jumbo jumbo about these heartless jet owners, but you guys keep forgetting how or who payed their tuition fees up to university both them and their Co-conspirators, ( the people in the government) who connived with them to help them loot the masses money? They do not care if a country like Nigeria do exist or not as long as they stash their money outside. The good thing is that we all going to die one day and we will see if their money we save them or not, that’s the beauty of this world. Where is Ghaddafi, Saddam, Mubarak, or Steve Jobs today with all their $ Billions, they are now a history. So long live billionaire, or millionaire club.

  20. Let me start with our Pastors,what are they teaching us?they are mere instrument of capitalist exploitation all in the name of cabashing and abracadabra,they use the money contributed by we that are under the influence of opium to build and maintain rich class universities that we won’t see the four walls until we die because its meant for their fellow bourgoisies..hahahaha,I pity ma fellow christians…As for those calling Buhari the Messiah,what did he do with PTDF funds?And for those calling for revolution let them start with that cos an average Igbo man has sacrificed enough blood before,after the civil war and now…. God bless Nigeria no certificate of divorce we all must suffer it together…Atleast we the Igbos have stories to tell to our children that we are the heroes past in the Rising sun Biafra(There was a country by Prof.Chinua Achebe)May You live long Igbos-080,three,seven,zero,eight,eight,four,five,six…

  21. Well, until shoulder to air missiles begin to hunt all their private jets, their stupidity would not readily come to their mind.

  22. The Criminals who pose as our Leaders shared money meant to put our roads in order and acquired SUV (Jeeps) to enable them pass through the roads, unfortunately floods and Robbers have taken over the roads hence their tariff for corruption was raised to pave way for private jets, and that is where all of them will perish because God will indeed fight for the masses.

  23. its apity dat d so call man of god who suppose to preach to people dat lifeis vanity upon vanity are now doing competition wit corrupt politician,bussinessman.

  24. Every day for the thief one day for the owner. Nigerians are easily fooled by politicians and fake men of God and will continue to suffer unless we wake up and decide enough is enough and do something to stop this corruption merry go round.

  25. Onye nzuzu amaghi mgbe e kere nku ukwa.THE FOOL WOULDNT KNOW WHEN THE BREADFRUIT TREE WOOD IS SHARED. HE WAITS AND WAITS AND WAITS FOR THE SHARING FORMULA WHILE THE SMART CART IT ALL HOME. STILL IN DOUBT ABOUT YOUR PLACE IN NIGERIA’S SOCIAL ORDER? ASK AROUND.

  26. Such fealty wealth are not proceeds of honest and productive economic ventures. It’s either stolen money from public coffer or proceed of illegal earnings – trade in drug, commissions of dubious contracts and all forms of questionable business deals including gun running and bunkering. Nigeria is one big mess of a country. We talk too much without making any sense and apply all forms of anachronistic western theories in analysis problems that are peculiar only to Nigeria and no other country in the world. How much does these jetting supper rich Nigerians pay on taxes? Perhaps, they do not even pay taxes.

  27. Onye Imo state on

    This country called nigeria is the worst thing our colonial masters did to us,had it been this country is divided into six, all this rubbish will nt be heard,our road is bad and if they drive on road some kidnappers will take them and demand for some money from their loot lolz this country the worst in corruption in the world,kidnappers and bad road will nt see them in the air

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