Within the last five years, some of Nigeria’s wealthiest people have spent about $6.5 billion acquiring new private jets, making it Africa’s biggest market for private planes, according to a new report.

In a report published Monday by Nigeria’s leading newspaper, Punch, the number of privately-owned aircraft in the country has risen by 650% between 2007 and 2012. In 2007, there were a total of 20 private jets in the country; today there are over 150.
Wealthy Nigerians, Pastors Spend $225 million on Private Jets
According to the report, which cited documents sourced from aviation agencies, over 130 new private planes have been acquired since 2007 at an average cost of $50 million per plane. According to Tunji Abioye, the journalist who authored the report, the luxury trend is encouraged among the rich by “the need for privacy, fear of insecurity and the urgency required by modern business.”

The most common brands of private planes available in Nigeria today include Gulfstream 450, 550 and 650; Bombardier Challenger 604, 605; Global Express; Embraer Legacy and Falcons; and Hawker Siddeley 125-800 and 900XP.  The owners of private jets in Nigeria typically range from corrupt high-flying politicians to oil magnates, business moguls and a few clergymen, the Punch article reports.

However, according to a quoted source from the report, it is pretty difficult to decipher the real identities of the owners because some of them “buy [the planes] through some foreign companies in North America, especially the US. The foreign company then leases it to another company in Nigeria.”

There are still several more private jets on the way,  ordered by some of Nigeria’s wealthiest. While some will be delivered this year, others will arrive between 2013 and 2014. The increasing expenditure on private aircraft means that Nigeria is currently rivaling China as one of the two fastest growing markets for private jets in the world, and airplane manufacturers across the world are beginning to take notice.

Last week, Bombardier Aerospace, the world’s third-largest airplane manufacturer, kicked off a 16-African city marketing tour, with a four-day showcase of  its latest offering, the $60 million Global 6000, in Nigeria, its most promising African market, according to a report by Ventures Africa.

Bombardier’s sales director for Africa, Robert Habjanic, told media correspondents that Nigeria was the company’s largest market in Africa. At the moment, about 35 Bombardier business jets are currently flying the country’s airspace. Habjanic also stated that the company already had orders for the Global 6000.

The number of  acquisitions of  private planes in Nigeria over the last decade has been unprecedented. Between March 2010 and March 2011, Nigerians spent $225 million on private jets.

The irony: While dozens of Nigerians are spending millions of dollars a piece for the luxury of private travel, the poverty level in the oil-rich country is continually on the rise; almost 100 million Nigerians, out of a total population of 170 million, live on less than a dollar a day.

Courtesy of Punch Newspapers

Top ten private jets owned by wealthy Nigerians, including their names and prices

This List was pulled out from Encomium magazine, and it is quite revealing. The magazine wrote thus:
More exciting revelations have emerged that the penchant for private jets acquisition has cost wealthy Nigerians over N1 trillion in five years. The luxury trend actually rose by 650% between 2007 and 2012, this has increased the rate of private jet acquisition from 20 in 2007 to over 150 in 2012 which has placed Nigeria  and china as the fastest growing private jets markets in the world.

Top ten private jets by wealthy Nigerians.
Type                                                              Price                           Owner
1. Falcons 7X.                                          $51m(N8.2billion)           Mike Adenuga
2. Bombardier Global 6000                       $45.5m(N7.3billion)       Unknown
3. Bombardier Global Express 5000          $45m(N7.2billion)          Aliko Dangote
4. Gulfstream G550                                   $40m(N6.4billion)         Bishop Oyedepo
5. Gulfstream V                                        $30m(N4.8billion)         Bishop Oyedepo & Pastor Adeboye

6. Bombardier Challenger 604                $30m(N4.8b)             Mike Adenuga

7. Embracer Legacy 650                        $30m (N4.8b)            Ifeanyi Uba
8. Hawker 900XP              $20m(N3.2b)             Dr Kashim and Sir Aremu Johnson
9. Gulfstream G450                               $15m(N2.4b)              Bishop oyedepo
10. LearJet                               $13.3m (N2.1b)          Bishop Oyedepo and Dr Kashim

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