Why Nigeria-made helicopter is yet to commence flight – NASENI

Why Nigeria-made helicopter is yet to commence flight – NASENI

The Executive Vice Chairman, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Mohammed Haruna, has revealed why the Nigeria-made helicopter is yet to commence operation in the country.


Addressing State House correspondents after briefing the President on the financial standing of NASENI, he disclosed that Nigeria has successfully completed the production of Nigeria-made helicopter.


He said that the President was impressed that NASENI is delivering on its mandate, saying “he has seen what has happened in this quarter and he’s impressed and directed us to do more, particularly in the modular irrigation projects that we are commencing from Adamawa state, the solar cells production and also other agric implements.”



While noting that NASENI has trained Nigerians for mass production of the helicopters, he said thatthe two helicopters that have been successfully produced, is currently awaiting accreditation by the Nigerian Aviation Aviation Authority before it could start flying.


“The helicopter project of NASEN is a technology we copied from Belgium and also from Indonesia. We imported after training staff on all aspects of it from design to production to assembly, repairs and maintenance. After they qualified including pilots, we assembled two helicopters, which we bought CKD from these places and assemble it with a view of producing the parts by part, to have a wholly or fully made in Nigeria helicopter.


“Now this helicopters in the helipad and hanger developed in our site in Karishi where our solar manufacturing plant is.

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However, for its expansion, the President has approved the projects to be relocated to Nigeria Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna, because of the already developed facilities there in order not to reinvent the wheel. Not only that, it was approved for us to have aeronautics and air vehicle developments centre of NASENI within the premises. That would require us to use a runway an order airport facilities.


“Since this institution also is located on the old Kaduna airport, all that is needed to expand is there. So, we have trained people and we have developed successfully. Why you have not seen it flying is because the Civil Aviation Authority is still doing all that processes needed to certify this helicopter. But then what delay us is that the process also required was also to train some personnel of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority on this because no one has done this in the past before.


“So, they also require from international civil authority authorization, clearance and certification on how they can accredit it because they do not have protocol in the past on how to assess and accredit a locally produced helicopter. That is what is delaying it. But we have gone ahead not only with the helicopter but with other aircraft development because we have adequate manpower for that.”

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Speaking further, he revealed that the Nigerian Machine Tools, Osogbo has also commenced the production of protective wears with ballistics elements, bulletproof vest, boot and other military hardware.


Haruna said that the firm has also partnered with some indigenous companies to start producing motor spare parts.


“The Nigerian Machine Tools, Osogbo has been doing a lot in the production of protective wears with ballistics elements, bulletproof vest, boot and other things. Now, with NASENI collaboration with Indonesia and also Azerbaijan, we have trained people on how to assemble Armoured Personnel Carrier, how to produce certain component of each instead of only assembling, the machine tools help the machines that equally working together, we produce some component to gradually substitute these and therefore equally proposed to do bulletproof vehicles, bulletproof impose tires and bulletproof glass.

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“So if they are expert in this, machine tools is expert in other components. NASENI has trained people in order design and computer aided manufacturing.


“What we do for companies like INNOSON Motors, is we produce mould for them that they need to be producing the spare parts in commercial quantity. However, if there is a unique car, in which only one item of the spare part is needed, instead of mass production, we do produce it because we have facility to recycle scrap metal and molten iron ductile iron even alloys and use it with our moulds to give us the shape and size of any component and machine appropriately because we use computer aided manufacturing and design.


“Our partnership with INNOSON Motors has aid them now to commence production of cargo version of tricycles.”


Professor Haruna further disclosed that the Federal government has taken steps to crash the price solar in Nigeria so that it can affordable for and accessible for all.


“Let me say that through our research and development activities in solar, it is so successful that, through the local innovations we now have a factory with 7.5 megawatts capacity in Karishi, Abuja, producing solar module of the highest quality and then, they are being installed in many places. We have dealers who but this and distribute. We participate in the installation in private and government buildings.


“7.5 megawatts cannot meet the needs of the nation and it’s not making the price of solar power affordable because the cells use in the manufacturing is imported.


“However, solar cells are products of silicon. Silicone is obtained from silica and silica is from sand, which we have abundance. That is what the president has approved to obtain this facility from China so that we will do everything possible to have 100% made in Nigeria product. When that is done, solar power supply will be affordable because the price will definitely crash tremendously. This is because the most expensive component is solar cells. Let me also add solar cells is not only for the production of solar modules or solar panels, this is the component needed in electronics and communication device.


“So, once we can produce solar cells, and we know how to produce the machines and the equipment and laboratory facilities that disappoint China will do for us. Then all those who do electronic design and other things will be able to produce the component locally.”

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