<p>The Nigerian government has officially handed over two helicopters from the presidential fleet to the Nigerian Air Force (<span class="caps">NAF</span>). The move is part of the president’s decision to cut down the fleet and to reduce waste.</p> <p>The helicopters, Augusta AW 101s from the <span class="caps">VVIP</span> range of the fleet, were handed over to the <span class="caps">NAF</span> by the national security chief, Babagana Monguno in the presence of the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali. </p> <p>Monguno, a retired major general disclosed that the number of helicopters given by the presidency to the <span class="caps">NAF</span> was now four. 1x AW109 helicopter and 1x King Air Beechcraft had earlier been released in 2015 after Buhari took over.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Presidency hands over two AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters to Nigerian Air Force [PHOTOS] <a href="https://t.co/l134sm0pCP">https://t.co/l134sm0pCP</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/todayphotong"><code>todayphotong</a> <a href="https://t.co/49zixUOV1A">pic.twitter.com/49zixUOV1A</a></p>— Nigeria Newsdesk (</code>NigeriaNewsdesk) <a href="https://twitter.com/NigeriaNewsdesk/status/785557883618557952">October 10, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>The Nigerian government recently run a full page newspaper advertisement for the sale of two aircrafts from the presidential fleet. A Falcon 7x executive jet and Hawker 4000 are supposed to be disposed off. </p> <p>A presidential spokesperson on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, had hinted that the fleet would be reduced in September. His tweet to that effect read, ‘‘There is a government committee already in place, working to reduce the number of aircraft in the presidential fleet.’‘ </p> <p>Shehu added that the exercise in respect of cutting down the fleet was still ongoing. In a response to a question about the remaining jets, he added, “Some of the aircrafts will be handed over to the Nigerian Air force to boost their operations.”</p> <p>The <span class="caps">NAF</span> chief, Sadique Abubakar said the gesture by the government had increased the morale of his team in the fight against insurgency in the country’s north east. </p> <p>“Like the two aircraft earlier handed to us, we intend to reconfigure these helicopters and deploy them for tactical airlift of troops and logistics in support of combat operations.</p> <p>“Incidentally, the acceptance of these helicopters and the intended reconfiguration efforts are in line with two drivers of my vision,’‘ he is quoted by local news portals to have said.</p> <p><strong><em>Photo credit: Nigeria News Desk</em></strong></p>
Like the two aircraft earlier handed to us, we intend to reconfigure these helicopters and deploy them for tactical airlift of troops and logistics in support of combat operations.