Nigerian Billionaires Who Still Maintain Private Jets Despite Economic Recession


High Life ……Amazing lifestyles of Nigeria’s rich and famous    with LANRE ALFRED

•There is a huge gulf between the affluent and pretenders to wealth

These men are institutions on their own. Besides their intimidating wealth and flourishing business concerns, they jointly constitute a formidable force in any political clime. Having attained great wealth and eminence by dint of hard work, initiative and perseverance, they have become so entrenched in the socioeconomic and political systems that they have become systems on their own, with the capacity to exert considerable influence or pressure on virtually every sector in the country with interesting results.

These men enjoy the best of a charmed life. While their business interests extend beyond the country’s shores, they also own impressive capital projects, residences and property in the most exclusive neighbourhoods at home and abroad.

However, there is a huge gulf between the affluent and pretenders to wealth. The latter depict everything that is wrong with the aristocracy. This is because they project noise over matter. With their arrogant manner, they pursue acquisitions far beyond their modest means. For instance, during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, men and women that ought to patronise commercial airlines acquired or chartered expensive private jets, just to keep up appearances and their membership of the billionaires’ club. Thus they filled up the runways and airport hangers with aircraft that glistened with their wantonness and lust for counterfeit status. Fast-forward to Muhammadu Buhari’s era, and you see a radical downturn in the fortunes and status of these private jet aficionados.

Today, because of the steep exchange rates and the economic recession, many of the private jet owners have lost possession of their dazzling wings of steel. As you read, no fewer than 31 private jets have been de-registered with the aircraft either sold off or returned to their owners abroad. The development is allegedly connected with the economic downturn and the high cost of maintaining a private jet which is said to have doubled in recent times. An average sum of $5000 (about N2.5 million at N490/$) would be needed per hour to maintain a private jet.

Besides, the cost of fuelling the aircraft has also increased by over 150 per cent. A litre of Jet A1 was sold for between N105 to N115 early last year but the price has jumped to over N250 at the moment. Also, a private jet owner pays landing, parking and handling fees like any commercial airline – such person would pay over-flight charges for regional or international trips. But despite this harsh reality, we still have strong men and women who still maintain their private jets. The likes of Dr. Mike Ishola Adenuga and Alhaji Aliko Dangote who still maintain their top positions on Forbes list as Africa’s richest, have two jets each, Tony Elumelu, Daisy Danjuma, Samad Rabiu, Dapo Abiodun, Tunde Ayeni, Tunde Folawiyo, Folorunso Alakija and few others. These are strong men at this time of recession.

She is not a nameless column with a buried base. But having embraced simplicity like the fabled gasp of survival, Margaret Emefiele, assumes the life of a mushroom on whom the dew of heaven drops now and then. Following her nasty experience with daredevil kidnappers, the unassuming wife of the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has retreated into a life of extreme purity and simplicity. Margaret now shies away from the limelight.

Findings revealed that the CBN governor’s wife has taken drastic steps to prevent a recurrence of her perilous ride on the coasts of death. She has changed her friends and reduced her social appearances. This is because she is still in the dark about how she became game and easy prey for her abductors.
Margaret hasn’t recovered from the gruesomeness foisted on her by her abductors. Everyday heralds a fresh struggle through her ordeal but the meek and lovable woman is pulling through. Notwithstanding her increased security detail and measures, she lives like a woman who knows that her gated mansions can only offer little protection.

Until her husband was appointed CBN governor, Margaret lived a very simple life. Unlike most rich, privileged high society wives, she painstakingly tamed and lessened her mortal fascination with self; and she succeeded where most of her peer failed. Margaret diminished desire and lust for acclaim – despite her exalted status as the CBN governor’s wife.

Life is a drag to many deputy bank chiefs, in Nigeria. They are the negligible indices in the scheme of things. The quiet characters whose industry and worth are forever smothered in the raucous din of over-celebrated and publicity-hungry superiors. Thus the title: Deputy Managing Director (DMD), rankles many deputy bank chiefs, like rusty handcuffs on the wrists of severely misunderstood and underappreciated patriots. Like most deputy governors in Nigeria, Deputy Managing Directors of banks are not known.

They are mere figure heads. People don’t reckon with them. Thus they are always quiet. Their superiors always take the shine off them. It’s really sad. No wonder some people would say it’s better to be a branch manager than to be the DMD of a bank. How many DMDs have you heard about before? Certainly none! This is because they are kept as stooges or Personal Assistants to the Managing Director in every bank.

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