In a bid to keep an appropriate record of helicopter movements in Nigeria, the federal government has engaged a private firm to achieve these objectives on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement.
The Managing Director, Naebi Dynamic Services Limited, Mr. Stanley Chike, told newsmen in Lagos that the firm was investing in multi-billion naira state-of-the-art equipment to monitor activities in the aviation and the oil sectors across the country.
According to him, the firm is investing in a multinational control room centre, radar equipment and navigational facilities to monitor the activities in the two sectors and beyond.
With this investment, Chike said movement of low level flying equipment like helicopters, would be appropriately captured and recorded by the country, while the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the government would also increase.
He disclosed that through its feasibility studies, the company discovered that no fewer than 200 helicopters were in operations in the country, many of them providing shuttle services to oil companies.
So the company service would provide security in the airspace and also earn revenue for the country.
Chike also said that stakeholders in the aviation, oil and gas and security sectors were carried along in the new initiative and appealed to International Oil Company (IOC) to cooperate with the firm to improve security and activities in the sector.
He also declared that the revenue generation of the deal was not novel as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), recommended practices approved it, while it is also a law in Nigeria.
Apart from this, he also emphasised that more employment would be generated for the country by the firm, put at 15, 000, while criminalities and criminal activities would be reduced as many youths would be taken off the streets.
He said: “Before we started, I noticed some lacunas in the system, we did a feasibility study and processed it and forwarded such to the government. After then, we had the stakeholders’ buy-in, the aviation and oil sectors. I want to thank the federal government for implementing this after the law has been passed.
“As we all know, aviation is a global practice and whatever is done in one country is replicated in the other, including Nigeria. The IOC will not pretend that they don’t know this is the practice that happens in their own countries, but we went further to ensure that after the ICAO law, it is also enshrined in our Act. So, it is a law nationally and globally. In other countries, helicopter operators are charged per weight, but here, we just have a common charge irrespective of the weight.
“Our job covers offshore and onshore and you will agree with me that we have over 200 heliports; we have more than 100 airstrips, oil rig platforms, aerodromes, FSPOs, helideck and co. with this, beyond Niger Delta.”