The Executive Vice Chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof. Maiwalima Haruna, has disclosed that the dream of President Muhammadu Buhari to launch a made-in- Nigeria helicopter before the end of his tenure is gradually coming to fulfilment as the project has entered an assessment stage by the aviation authorities.
Haruna disclosed this when officers from the Ministry of Aviation and its agencies visited the NASENI Solar Energy Limited where the NASENI Helicopter Hangar and in Abuja for on-site assessment and evaluation of the NASENI Helicopter.
The NASENI chief executive, who was represented by Dr Mahmoud Jaffaru in his opening remarks said that 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 time frame given to the agency by the president.
He noted that it was the desire of the Agency to manufacture made-in- Nigeria Helicopter that is of international standards and helps in boosting the nation’s economy.
According to him, NASENI has a massive landmass that would accommodate all the operational activities.
“ We have the 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 “.
In his presentation, the Deputy Director of Engineering Infrastructure, Emmanuel Ajani said that NASENI entered into collaboration with Dynali Helicopter Company, Thins Belgium to develop made in Nigeria helicopter and has trained its engineers for the take-off of the project in Nigeria.
According to him, the president approved the project on January 26, 2021, and directed NASENI to complete the production of made-in- Nigeria Helicopter before the end of his tenure.
“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 seriously. 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 NASENI Heliport and we pray for your timely consideration and approval of the process,” he said.