Nigerian business tycoon purchases N60 billion private jet

Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi, a well-known Nigerian billionaire and the chairman of Nestoil Group, is about to complete the acquisition of a Gulfstream G-700 jet from the manufacturer in Georgia, United States, for $76 million.

Additionally, according to records, Mr. Azudialu-Obiejesi and his oil company are currently planning to increase their interactions with enterprises in Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, California, and other US states.

Since its incorporation in 1991, Nestoil has developed into one of Nigeria’s leading EPCC (engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning) firms for the oil and gas industry.

According to people close to his firm, Mr. Azudialu-Obiejesi, 63, the company’s founder and managing director, has now turned his attention away from the borders of Nigeria in an effort to create a world-class energy conglomerate.

The purchase of a brand-new Gulfstream G-700 airplane, which costs $76 million, is believed to be among the wealthy businessman’s other priorities in addition to growing Nestoil’s presence in America.

The amount is equal to N59.3 billion at the official market rate of N780 to the US dollar.

According to Guardian Jet, a company that offers market intelligence guidance to aircraft owners and operators, the G-700 aircraft is a brand-new jet that is now undergoing flight testing and is projected to go into service this year.

The aircraft is a two-engined, ultra-long-range, custom private jet, according to its manufacturers. With room for up to five living spaces and a maximum passenger capacity of 19, it will have the largest cabin in business aviation.

“The Gulfstream G700 unites a revolutionary cabin with all-new Roy Royce engines and the award-winning Symmetry Flight Deck,” the manufacturers said in a product brochure.

The brand-new aircraft, according to Gulfstream, will offer improved performance and increased passenger comfort. According to Mark Burns, president of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, during certification flying the aircraft showed gains in cabin altitude, range, and speed.

“We are undertaking one of the most extensive flight test programmes as the G700 is the first business aircraft to undergo Federal Aviation Administration certification following the passage of the 2020 Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act.

“As a result, we will be delivering an extremely mature, rigorously tested aircraft that will outperform expectations in speed, range and cabin comfort. Our certification efforts continue to advance, and we look forward to delivering the G700 to customers around the world.”

Mr. Azudialu-Obiejesi and his Nestoil will be among the first buyers in the globe to obtain the opulent plane if the deal is successful.

Nestoil currently relies largely on an older Gulfstream plane for which the business has spent $31 million (N41 billion) in addition to the purchase price on parts, maintenance, and administration, according to company records.

The business also has a Canadian-made Bombardier plane that was purchased with a $25 million (N33.6 billion) loan from a reputable Swiss bank.

The Nestoil CEO, Mr. Azudialu-Obiejesi, stated in a document obtained by our publication that he likes American jets and that he intends to keep acquiring and relying on them in the near future.

A letter of intent to buy a G-700 plane was signed by Nestoil’s aviation division in November 2022.

The agreement is far along, with Gulfstream and Mr. Azudialu-Obiejesi’s Nestoil coordinating timetables for the jet’s construction.

In order to conclude the transaction, Mr. Azudialu-Obiejesi is also arranging a trip to Georgia soon.

Netoil Jet Mishaps

A Gulfstream G-200 aircraft owned by Nestoil was involved in an accident on January 25, 2018, at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

On that particular day, the airplane, bearing the registration number 5N-BTF, departed from Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos while carrying four passengers and three crew members.

The aircraft was significantly damaged, according to a report from the Accidents Investigation Bureau (AIB), even though no casualties were reported.

Once the G-700 reaches Nestoil’s headquarters, the Nigerian conglomerate’s fleet of fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and dozens of shipping boats will be led by it, according to Nestoil.

Nestoil and Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi
With a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Benin and an honorary doctorate in business administration from the University of Nigeria, Mr. Azudialu-Obiejesi is recognized as a smart businessman. In 1991, he founded Nestoil as a division of the Obijackson Group of Companies.

Oil drilling, oil and gas exploration, production, dredging, aviation, civil engineering, ship drydocking, pressure vessel manufacture, large-scale steel fabrication, and maritime shipping are all activities carried out by Nestoil enterprises in the oil and gas industry.

The company’s largest project to date was the construction of the Niger Delta’s 60-mile, $1.1 billion Nembe Trunk Line for Royal Dutch Shell.

The company has grown over the course of its 32-year existence to become a top indigenous oil and gas firm, managing multi-million dollar contracts and serving clients including the Nigerian government and foreign oil firms.

By creating affiliates to handle the needs of particular industries, the company has further expanded its services. These affiliates include B & Q Dredging Ltd (dredging and marine operations), Gobowen E& P Ltd (upstream oil and gas activities), Hammakkop Consortium Ltd (civil engineering construction works), Energy Works Technology Ltd (offshore fabrication and pressure vessel manufacturing), Time Power Global Dynamics Ltd (power distribution), and Century Power Generation Ltd (electrical generation).

To acquire a competitive edge in winning contract bids, Nestoil was the driving force behind the establishment of the Neconde Consortium. That paid off when the group purchased Shell’s oil block OML 42.

2019 saw the London Stock Exchange choose the Nestoil conglomerate as one of the “Companies to Inspire Africa.”

Former President Muhammadu Buhari conferred the title of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic on Mr. Azudialu-Obiejesi in October 2022.

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