The Federal Government has begun an assessment of the first made-in-Nigeria helicopter as part of the process to meet international requirements and standards before its formal launch.
Officials of the Ministry Aviation yesterday carried out on-site assessment and evaluation of the helicopter manufactured by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).
The executive vice chairman of NASENI, Prof. Maiwalima Haruna, in his speech on the occasion, said the agency was ready to accept any suggestions and support from the aviation ministry that would lead to the successful completion of the project within the timeframe given to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Represented by the managing director of NASENI Solar Energy Limited, Dr. Mahmoud Jaffaru, Haruna highlighted the agency’s determination to come up with a helicopter that is of international standard to help boost the nation’s economy.
He explained that NASENI has massive land mass that would accommodate all the operational activities of the project.
“We have expertise for developing the helicopter and we do things according to laid-down rules. We are ready to work with you to achieve this project,” he said.
Recall that the president on January 26, 2021, approved the production of the made-in- Nigeria helicopter and directed NASENI to complete the project before the end of his tenure.
In his presentation, the deputy director of the agency’s engineering infrastructure, Engr. Emmanuel Ajani, said NASENI entered into collaboration with Dynali Helicopter Company, Thins Belgium, to develop made-in-Nigeria helicopter and had trained its engineers for the take-off of the project in the country.
“NASENI engineers and technicians have been trained on helicopter assembly, maintenance and repair at Dynali. More engineers will be sent for training including pilots. We are also taking the issue of licencing serious. We are aware that the permit for non-commercial flight must be done before we continue with the process of manufacturing.
“Our plan is to get the permit before we start. That is why you are here today for the assessment and evaluation of the hanger and helipad which have arrived and we pray for your timely consideration and approval of the process,” he stated.
In his response, the team leader from the aviation ministry and its agencies, Captain Akali, represented by the general manager aeronautical services, Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Asaniyan Taiwo, said the team planned to pick all the information needed and convey same back to the ministry for submission and more deliberation and applauded NASENI for the laudable project which completion, he said would promote the image of the country and improve the economy.
“The ministry is happy with the project but safety is paramount. We will not compromise the safety of the people,” he added.
A statement by NASENI’s assistant chief information officer, Chinyere Obiorah Ekwuazi, said Akali noted that NASENI was on course, as the helicopter if completed would help in fighting crime and for national building.