News Investigators/ The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Kaduna State, said it has auctioned two helicopters at 556,200,322USD (N1.2 billion), to the Nigerian Navy.
NCAT said the two helicopters were sold to boost the training needs of the college because they were under utilised, stressing that due diligence was followed in the auctioning.
The Rector and Chief Executive Officer of the institution, Alkali Modibbo, while speaking to newsmen on Sunday in Zaria said that the two Bell 206B – III model helicopters were disposed after satisfying all due diligence.
Mr. 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) vide FGN Remita receipts bearing reference numbers 3008-4333-3046 and 1008-4304-1098, accordingly.
He recalled that the Nigerian Navy expressed interest to acquire the two helicopters via a letter dated 13th December 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 none 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, Adeyemi Apata, applied to be appointed as the auctioneer for NCAT vide a letter dated March 3, Mr. Modibbo revealed.
Furthermore, the NCAT chief executive said that the Federal Ministry of Aviation in a letter dated 15th March, 2023, granted approval for the disposal of the two Bell 206 helicopters to enable the college 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 30th March 2023.
This culminated to the engagement of Messrs Tresmo as the auctioneer vide NCAT.11/1204/VOL.1/043, dated 6th April 2023, Mr. Modibbo stated.
The NCAT Rector added that the auctioneer also accepted and executed the disposal of the helicopters via a letter signed by Baba Malik on 7th April 2023, which also remitted the proceeds of N1.2 billion into the Federal Government account.