The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Kaduna State, says it auctioned two helicopters at a total of 556,200,322USD (N1.2 billion), because of under utiliSation.

The Rector and Chief Executive Officer of the institution, Capt. Alkali Modibbo, told newsmen in Zaria on Sunday that the two Bell 206B – III model helicopters were disposed after satisfying all due diligence.

Modibbo explained that a Federal Government licenced auctioneer, Messrs Tresmo Nigeria Limited, was appointed to dispose the affected helicopters sequel to the approval and valuation reports obtained from the Federal Ministries of Aviation and Works, respectively.

According to him, the auctioneer paid $275,782,661.25 and $280,417,661.25 (totalling N1.2bn) via FGN Remita receipts bearing reference numbers 3008-4333-3046 and 1008-4304-1098, respectively.

He recalled that the Nigerian Navy expressed interest to acquire the two helicopters via a letter dated December 13, 2022, with Ref. No: NHQ:04/61/93/OPS/VOL. VII/23.

“I am directed to convey the compliments of the Chief of the Naval Staff to the Rector and Staff of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, and to further Express our interest to inspect the 2 Bell 206L – 3 (Long Range) helicopters proposed to be disposed by your organisation.

“The Nigerian Navy (NN) is aware that the 2 Bell 206L – 3 helicopters are currently grossly underutilised due to the lack of training of helicopter pilots at the facility.

“I am to respectfully inform the Rector that the NN operates a similar type of helicopter and hereby expresses its interest to inspect the helicopters for possible acquisition with a view to bolster its operations towards ensuring a safe and secure maritime environment,” the letter read in part.

Consequently, the Director of Tresmo Nigeria Limited, Mr Adeyemi Apata, applied to be appointed as the auctioneer for NCAT via a letter dated March 3, 2023, Modibbo revealed.

Furthermore, the NCAT chief executive said that the Federal Ministry of Aviation, in a letter dated March 15, 2023, granted approval for the disposal of the two Bell 206 helicopters to enable the college to acquire Basic Trainer Helicopters.

Again, in furtherance of following due process, the college obtained the Valuation Reports of the affected helicopters from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing via a letter dated March 30, 2023.

This culminated to the engagement of Messrs Tresmo as the auctioneer, vide NCAT.11/1204/VOL.1/043, dated April 6, 2023, Modibbo stated.

The NCAT Rector added that the auctioneer also accepted and executed the disposal of the helicopters via a letter signed by Mr Baba Malik on April 7, 2023, which also remitted the proceeds of N1.2 billion into the Federal Government account.

He therefore emphasised that due diligence was followed in the auctioning of the two unutilised helicopters to boost the training needs of the college.

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