Obi Urges Nigerian Govt To Support Dangote Refinery, Highlights Economic Potential
Peter Obi

Buying New Jets Amid High Debt, Poverty, Not Acceptable, Obi Tells Tinubu’s Govt 

1 month ago
2 mins read

Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi, has kicked against plans by the President Bola Tinubu’s government to buy new presidential jets, saying it reflects insensitivity of the government to the struggles for the citizens and the challenges in the economy.

Prime Business Africa reports that a lawmaker in the House of Representatives, Ahmad Satomi, had recently moved a motion proposing that a new  jet be procured for the president and his vice following reports that the Presidential Air Fleet was not in good shape.

After debate on the motion, the matter was referred to the  House Committee on National Security and Intelligence to carry out an investigation into the matter.

Subsequently, the Committee on National Security and Intelligence asked the government to acquire new presidential jets for both President, Bola Tinubu and the Vice President, Kashim Shettima.

Reacting to the decision, Obi in a statement via his official X handle, said that given the prevailing economic crisis in Nigeria, marked by high inflation, persistent depreciation of the currency, heavy debt burden and widespread poverty, the focus of the government should not be on acquisition of more luxuries but on how to get the country out of the woods.


He further stated that with the rising insecurity and hunger ravaging the citizens, the latest decision demonstrates that the government’s priority is not about the welfare of the citizens.

He said: “At a time when our country is trending on the global media for facing its worst economic crisis, marked by high inflation, a falling currency, and widespread poverty, the government’s plan to buy new presidential jets demonstrates extreme insensitivity to citizens’ struggles.

“With rising insecurity, poverty, hunger, and homelessness, this decision highlights the disconnect between the government and the people. It is unacceptable and demands a more compassionate use of resources, prioritizing citizens’ welfare.”

Obi observed that the existing presidential jets were acquired when most Nigerians could afford basic necessities but today, the country faces significant challenges, including a high debt profile, and the citizens are in greater need which makes it imperative that the government should focus on alleviating their sufferings and finding solutions to economic crisis instead of acquiring more luxuries. “For long, our bad leadership has made our priorities, as leaders, to be at variance to the needs of society, which is why we are headed now south as a nation,” Obi stated.

The former Anambra State governor, also criticised the government for spending $15 million on Vice President’s residence, amid indicators of economic decline such as the GDP dropping to $252 billion and a per capita income of $1,080, with huge debt burdens.

He further compared between Nigeria and United States, saying that despite the US being the largest economy in the world with a “GDP of  $25 trillion, about 100 times our GDP, and a per capita income of $80,000, about 80 times ours, still houses their Vice President in Number 1 Observatory Circle, a house built over 100 years ago, and whose value is obviously less than the $15 million we are spending on our VP’s residence.” He added that a “reputable real estate company, actually, reports that the US Vice President’s Official Residence is valued at about $7.5 million today.”

“While we had earlier refurbished the old VP residence with $2 million, the over 100 years old US Vice President’s house has only undergone wide-scale renovations twice, funded by tax payers money; in 1993 and in 2021. Every new US VP is free to finance any minor refurbishing from his personal funds. It’s, therefore, time to stop this impunity, insensitivity, and shamelessness and refocus on the needs of our people.”

He urged the government to prioritise education, healthcare, and lifting the citizens out of poverty, adding, “Let us work together to build a nation that truly serves its people, not just the interests of a few. Let’s rise to the challenge, and build this new Nigeria which is now more possible than ever before.”



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