In accordance with the ease of doing business in Nigeria, the largest commercial helicopter to be operated by a wholly indigenous company, Caverton Helicopters Nigeria Limited, was recently received from the United States of America by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) at the Ports & Terminal Multiservices Ltd (PTML) in Tin-Can Island port, Lagos. The helicopter, a Sirkosky S-92 was then coupled inside the PTML terminal.
Speaking with journalists shortly before the take-off of the helicopter to Ikeja airport, Sani Amodu, chief engineer for Caverton Helicopters Nigeria Limited, said after getting the necessary approval, all the imported components were brought together and assembled right within the Tin-Can Island port.
According to Amodu, “The helicopter was shipped from the United States to Lagos, but unfortunately because of the size, we could not take it out of the port to our facility due to safety reasons.
“So, what we did was, instead of taking it out and going through the risk of the road, we decided to couple it here, following all the safety precautions as recommended by both the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as well as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
“We are very pleased and happy with the support given to us by the terminal operator and the NPA on this feat. This is the first time we are doing this through the port. We could have air-freighted it, but because of the size, we decided to bring it in through the port so that we can get the very best of service.”
While describing features of the aircraft, Amodu said the 19-seater Sirkosky S-92 is one of the best in the category for oil and gas businesses.
Also speaking, Yunusa Ibrahim, the Tin-Can Port Manager, Tin Can Island port complex, described the acquisition of the aircraft through the port as a great feat for the NPA.
“Never before have helicopter components been brought through the port, assembled within the port and taken off from the port. It is of a very big significance for the NPA. It shows that our aim of ease of doing business is being achieved in line with the focus of the management,” the Tin-Can Port Manager explained.
On his part, Babatunde Keshinro, General Manager, PTML Terminal said the feat was proof that the NPA has improved in the provision of investment opportunities.
“PTML terminal is a multipurpose facility, and one of our major contributions to Nigerian trade is the opportunity to handle project cargoes. This is not the first time we are receiving helicopters at this terminal, but it is the first time that a cargo of this size is being coupled in the terminal,” Keshinro said.
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