Bauchi puts aircraft on lease
The state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Nuhu Gidado, told newsmen in Bauchi that the aircraft was leased to the company to generate revenue for the state.
Gidado said that the plane, which was bought by the government about nine years ago, had not generated any reasonable revenue.
According to him, the plane was first leased to IRS Airlines, Hamsel Air, Associated Aviation and now Overland. These three leases did not yield any money to the government.
“The aircraft was first leased to IRS and it generated N100 million, but the government spent N123 million on its repairs. It was then leased to Hamsel Air at the rate of N15 million per month.
“Associated Air leased it for N51 million after the then state government cancelled the agreement with Hamsel but that also did not yield the expected revenue as the government had to part with N238 million for repairs,” he said.
Gidado said that the agreement with Overland would be sealed after a slight technical problem was fixed. He debunked media report that the plane had been stolen, saying that the state government never issued a statement to that effect.
‘’The handover note from previous administration confirmed that the government owned an aircraft,’’ he said. He urged journalists to always crosscheck facts and avoid giving out false information to the public.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the aircraft was bought in 2006 during the administration of Alhaji Adamu Muazu as governor.
NAN also reports that the plane which had been an issue of controversy between the current administration and its successor, returned to Bauchi on Sept. 11 from Morocco where it was said to be taken for repairs.