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Nigeria: Federal Executive council approves three new Jets for President Jonathan

Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council  on Wednesday approved the purchase of three new presidential jets, for $150m

To be purchased are two Falcon 7X aircraft from France’s Dassault Aviation and one Gulfstream G550 from the U.S. planemaker for the presidential fleet at a cost of $150 million.

“After consideration, council approved the purchase,” Information Minister Dora Akunyili told reporters after a cabinet meeting in the capital Abuja, adding that the amount was provided for in the 2010 budget.

Nigeria’s government spending is due to rise sharply this year. Parliament last month approved 445 billion naira in extra spending including pay rises for civil servants, doctors and professors.

That supplementary spending plan comes on top of the main 4.4 trillion naira 2010 budget, meaning Nigeria’s fiscal deficit is expected to increase beyond 5.4 percent of GDP, well above a 3 percent target set just three years ago.

The finance ministry has warned that government revenues, mostly from oil sales, would not be enough to fund the budget and that the OPEC member would likely have to use up its windfall oil savings or borrow more.