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Rivers: How we Purchased $29m Helicopters

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Image: Bell 412 Helicopter



By Chuks Okocha   

The Rivers State government Friday gave account of how it acquired two helicopters worth $29 million, stating that the Federal Government paid $15 million counterpart funding for the two helicopters and the state government paid the balance.


A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Rivers State, Ibim Semenitari said, “The total cost of the helicopters was 29 million USD. The Federal Government of Nigeria through the office of the National Security Adviser paid 15 million USD, while the Rivers State Government paid the balance. The Federal Government granted duty waiver. The aircraft are being freighted into Nigeria and will be reassembled in Lagos”.

Dismissing any political undertones for the purchase of the helicopters, especially for 2015 campaigns, the Commissioner said, “The helicopters, two bell 412 helicopters with camera payload for aerial surveillance of Rivers State were purchased as part of the state government’s collaboration with the federal government and its support for the security agencies in the state”.


According to her, “The helicopters are to be operated by the Nigerian police in conjunction with the oil companies who have offered to bear some of the operating cost to enable government combat the menace of oil bunkering.

“The police took delivery of similar choppers in 2012 built by the same company. The 412 four axis choppers are rated the most advanced civil helicopters in the world. 


The acquisition, which was done with the support of the federal government, is to enhance security of lives and property in Rivers State”.

Continuing, she said, “The Government of Rivers State has repeatedly supported the security agencies by investing in state of the art up to date security equipment as has indeed been acknowledged by all. Our investments have been pivotal to the restoration of peace and security not only in Rivers State but also in the Niger Delta and indeed the South South and South East regions of Nigeria”.


In view of this, the Rivers state spokesperson said that it was very disturbing that anyone will trivialize a matter as serious as the security of not just the lives of Rivers people but also the commonwealth of all Nigerians.

The statement by the commissioner said that the Rivers State Government has always owned a private jet and has not purchased any new airplanes nor does it intend to purchase one, stating that as  it  is typical of Governor Amaechi,” such purchases would be openly and transparently done and so would not need to be a matter of conjecturing”.


The commissioner commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his quick action and amazing support leading to the purchase of these helicopters.  She said, “His commitment to national security and willingness to collaborate with al tiers of government and all sectors to ensure the security of lives and property is worthy of accolade and support.

She said  that  Governor Chibuike Amaechi-led administration  re affirm its commitment to the people of Rivers State and the governor’s determination to fulfil his oath of office to protect lives and property of all who reside, work and do business in Rivers State


Article Credit: Thisday Newspaper

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Updated 6 Years ago

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