Nigerian banks prefer extending finance offers to high-net-worth individuals, including business moguls and top politicians, to buy private jets instead of giving such to commercial airliners, the private Punch newspaper reported on Sunday, quoting aviation sources.
It reported that many banks are now unwilling to fund the operation of domestic airlines, including the purchase of aircraft, because they have recorded a huge bad debt from doing that in the past.
The fact that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria bought over 132 billion (US$821 million) bad loans from the domestic airlines to save them from collapsing is the clearest indication yet of the huge bad debt incurred from extending finance offers to the airlines.
The paper quoted top players in the aviation sector as saying that some banks had started approaching influential businessmen and corporate bodies with the offer to fund their acquisition of business jets.
According to them, the banks are looking at working out partnerships with foreign aircraft manufacturers in Europe, the United States and other countries to make the financing process a standard process.
The estimated total of 150 private jets in Nigeria is worth US$3.75 billion and has made the country the continent’s largest market for private jets.