Buhari to launch first made-in-Nigeria helicopter before May 29

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BY MAYOWA SAMUEL

Uba Group

President Muhammadu Buhari is set to inaugurate the first made-in-Nigeria helicopter in Kaduna before he leaves office on May 29.

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, Mohammad Sani Haruna, disclosed this on Monday when he visited the Commandant of the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology in Kaduna.

The agency boss disclosed that the Federal Government will also establish three industrial parks across the country, adding that about N3.250 billion has been earmarked for the first phase of the parks, which will be sited in Nnewi, Anambra State; Osogbo, Osun State and Igabi, Kaduna State.

He said, “The Federal Government of Nigeria has planned to develop industrial parks for the Automotive sectors in three zones of the country: Nnewi (Anambra State) Osogbo (Osun State) and Igabi (Kaduna State).

“Once fully taken up and equipped, the automotive parks will be self-sustaining and become government revenue sources.

“In the first phase of the project, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has earmarked N3,250,000,000 for take-off and we appreciate the Honourable Minister for the commitment and interest to the project.

“We are equally grateful to Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, for the allocation of 50 hectares of land and his Excellency’s magnanimity for granting waivers of all statutory fees for the title of the land.”

Explaining further, Haruna said, “The project initiative is in line with the concept of Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, which initially proposed establishing the Automotive Supplier Industrial Park (ASIP) in these three locations in the country for technology evolution in the automotive sector.

“This is in line with the mandate of NASENI for provision and development of primary and intermediate capital projects required for machine and equipment design, fabrication, and mass production, in order to provide the enabling environment for sustainable industrialization of the country.

“The project is being supervised for NASENI by the Hydraulic Equipment Development Institute (HEDI) in Kano, an institute of NASENI for the agency.

“The project is intended to unlock the opportunities in Auto sector as well as potentials in the manufacturing industry with a view of creating employment, skilled labour in this region and the sub-Saharan Africa. It will earn foreign exchange for the country and stop importation of vehicle spare parts…”

“Technologies prospecting for domestication from our counterpart agencies across the world for aircraft manufacturing will have pilot plants for realisation here in Kaduna by the Grace and will of God. The facilities designed to be provided; machineries, equipment, laboratories, and workshops will be shared facilities with the AFIT and the Nigerian Air Force,” he said.

The AFIT Commandant AVM Paul Jemitola said the institute was ready to collaborate with NASENI, as he promised to maximise the benefits of the cooperation for the betterment of all stakeholders.