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Factual Reportage

The House of Representatives has announced plans to summon the National Security Adviser (NSA), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, to address concerns regarding the recurring breakdowns of the Presidential air fleet jets.

Hon. Satome Ahmed, Chairman of the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence, revealed this decision after Wednesday’s plenary session.

During the session, a motion to investigate the presidential air fleet and the significant budget allocated for its maintenance was temporarily shelved following a heated debate among members.

The urgency to address these issues arises after Vice President Kashim Shettima was compelled to cancel his scheduled trip to the United States to represent President Bola Tinubu at the 2024 US-Africa Business Summit due to a fault with his aircraft.

The summoning of the NSA reflects the House’s commitment to holding accountable those responsible for ensuring the reliability and safety of the Presidential air fleet. It signals a proactive approach by lawmakers to address concerns related to national security and the effective functioning of governmental operations.

Addressing the media, Hon. Satome Ahmed explained “We have appropriated enough funds for them to maintain this aircraft, that is why I say the NSA should come and tell Nigerians what is happening. We have all it takes as a country not only to maintain the aircraft but get new ones”.

On why the motion was stepped down, Satome said “I did not step down the motion because it lacked support. No, I stepped it down because I already have the powers to summon the NSA and the commandant of the Presidential Air Fleet, which is the prayer in that motion, for them to explain”.

The chairman said the decision to invite the NSA has become relevant because “The Vice President, last week was one-hour air borne when that air craft developed a problem and had to come back and land.

” As I am talking to you, this morning, the vice president used a commercial flight to Kebbi and that aircraft belongs to an individual, which means we cannot as a country maintain the aircraft that belongs to the Nigeria Air Force- that’s the presidential jet, which is called the Airforce 1.

“Therefore, it’s a shame when Mr President wants to leave on official duty to the UK, he uses a chartered flight, in the 21st century.

“Common, not Nigeria! Let’s be serious, please. Our pride depends on our capacity. We better believe it.

“When the first Nigeria Airways landed in Saudi Arabia, there was no proper runway for such aircraft, so we donated such aircraft. But what is Saudi doing now? Talking of the technology, Saudi as a country invested $41 billion in Artificial Intelligence (AI)”.

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