The Federal Ministry of Aviation has engaged a private firm, NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Limited, to capture low level flying helicopters across the country especially in the Niger Delta region for revenue collection.
Apart from revenue generation, the effort will also help to reduce to the bearest minimum, insecurity in the areas.
LEADERSHIP, gathered that the firm will collect take-off and landing charges from helicopters across the country which was not the case before.
Speaking, the managing director of the consultancy firm, Chike Stanley, said, the collection is in line with global best practices and is obtainable globally.
He added that, before now, such collections were not enforced by government, saying it is better late than never.
“I commend the FG, Ministry of Aviation for standing bold that this must be implemented. It is a global practice and by Chicago Convention whatever is done in America and in Aviation and is the same thing that is carried out in Canada, whatever is done in Canada is carried out in Nigeria.
In Ghana, that is a global practice, so the IOCs will not pretend that they do not know that this practice is what happens in their own country. We went further to make sure that outside International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) law. It is household law enshrined in our act, it is a law nationally, it is a law globally, in other countries they charge by weight but here we just have a price tag.”
Collection of these charges according to Chike would be from over 200 helipads, heliports, airstrips, aerodromes fixed based organizations and floating production storage and off loading platforms in Nigeria.
He stated that helicopters fly into the country on a daily basis without being captured by the radar, however, with what the federal government is deploying in the form of Multilateration
A system, he said, captures and monitor low level flying helicopters and with the additional facilities to be installed by the firm, no helicopter would fly into Nigeria unnoticed and unidentified.
“You could recall we had an helicopter issues of unknown helicopter coming into the country, into the state without identity. Nobody gives report of this and the FG say this is laudable we can work with you and found us worthy, I always thank the federal government because one thing is to have a policy and another thing is to implement.’’
He, therefore, called on International Oil Companies, and Local Oil Companies, to comply with the decision of the Federal Government collection as regards paying for take-off and landing of choppers working for them.
‘’We want the IOCs to comply because not complying more that 5,000-15,000 are losing jobs, imaging taking the youths off the streets. The states are eager and working with us to make sure we have a conducive environment to work and employ their people so they are telling the IOCs you need to cooperate.”
Chike noted that the job creation by this initiative government will take away many youths from the unemployment market.
“This is creating massive job, when you talk about employment you are solving major security problem because these platforms are in someone’s community, theses communities have youths you can engage. If you engage 20 people you have touched more than 20 lives, they have families relatives.”
“The stakeholders saw that this is something nobody ever thought of and covering the revenue lacunal, revenue leakages with this collection of charge, so at the end of the day, it was implemented and we were inaugurated”
The NAEBI MD, however, emphasized that the firm is not meant only to collect money but also to improve on the equipment on ground installed by the government in collaboration with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
According to him, they are to acquire a multi-million naira facilities and build a multinational control room center to monitor and record choppers that fly within and from outside
“You will agree with me most helicopters companies they fly below radar, you can’t capture them. How do you capture them, we will buy a radar system that can capture them, that is investing good money, we are building a multinational control room center to record how many choppers flies in and out, when they move from point A to B you can give report that they have moved from point A-B.”
“Partnering with NAMA is to improve an existing system and this improvement means that a lot of money has to be spent to improve, so you now built, operate and transfer so it is not all your own the equipment becomes that of government and we are building ours to complement and there are a lot of equipment we are bringing in.
“We are giving data to government for government to know how many helicopters that flies in and out, government needs to know the numbers of choppers we have in the country and the foreign ones off course.”