NPA boosts Local Content, handles 19-seater Caverton helicopter at PTML
The Nigerian Ports Authority NPA once again boosted Federal Government’s Local Content policy after successfully handling the shipment and assembling of the biggest helicopter in the country belonging to Caverton Helicopters Nigeria Limited Thursday at the Ports and Terminals Multipurpose Limited PTML Terminal, located at the Tin Can Island Port, Lagos.
In addition to adding value to the economy under the Local Content policy, the feat is also in line with the government’s commitment towards enhancing the Ease of Doing Business at all the nation’s seaport facilities.
Chief Engineer for Caverton Helicopters Nigeria Limited, Mr. Sani Muhammed Amodu, who spoke to newsmen shortly before the takeoff of the helicopter to Ikeja airport, said the helicopter, a Sikosky S-92 was acquired by Caverton Helicopters Nigeria Limited and shipped from the United States of America to Apapa, Lagos.
It was gathered that the Completely Knocked Down CKD cargo arrived onboard a vessel; Grande Morocco on December 19, 2020 at the PTML Terminals Lagos.
Amodu also disclosed that the helicopter was the biggest in the country, and that because of the size, the company decided not to risk the logistics of transporting it by road.
According to him, after getting the necessary approvals, all the imported components were brought together and assembled right within the port facility.
“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 because of the safety aspect of it, so what we did was that, 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 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, of which we have gotten from NPA”
While describing features of the aircraft, Engr. Amodu said the Sikosky S-92, has 19 seats, two crew seats as well as an observer seat. He said the aircraft is one of the very best in the category of aircrafts for oil and gas businesses.
“The Sikosky S-92 was acquired by Caverton Helicopters being the first indigenous company in Africa to get it. Normally, all the multinational companies that have operated the machine in Africa were brought in for the sole business of making it work and taking it back, but Caverton has bought it and is going to keep it on and on to increase capability and support for oil and gas” he said.
Also speaking, the NPA Port Manager, Tin Can Island Port Complex, Engr. Yunusa Ibrahim, described this as a great feat for the NPA.
Engr. Yunusa stated that this was the first time this would be taking place within the terminal.
He said: “Never before was a helicopter component brought to the port, assembled within the port and take off from the port, it is of a very big significance for the NPA”
“It shows that our commitment to Ease of Doing Business is being achieved in line with focus of the current management”
The NPA Port Manager noted that it would have cost Caverton Helicopters Nigeria Limited more money to move the helicopter by road, but that the port has provided enabling environment for them to assemble it.
In terms of safety, he said the NPA also monitored the assembly process which lasted four days.
On his part, General Manager PTML Terminal, Mr. Babatunde Keshinro described this as a major achievement for Nigerian ports system.
He said the fact that the terminal provided a safe and secured environment for the operation to be done is a major achievement for PTML terminal, for NPA and for Nigeria as a country where there are opportunities to bring trade for immediate value.
Keshinro noted that in line with the ease of doing business goal of the federal government, the terminal has bridged the investment gap for Caverton Helicopters, from the point of investment to when the cargo becomes available for them to convert into commercial use.
“PTML Terminal is a Multipurpose facility, and one of our major contribution to Nigerian trade is the opportunity to be handling 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”
“As a Build, Operate and Transfer BOT platform, we are operating based on the support NPA has given to us, without their support, we wouldn’t have been able to offer this national brand, this is a brand of NPA, we are just an executor of the project” he said
Mr Keshinro said the the cargo arrived onboard Grande Morocco on 19th of December to PTML terminal and became available for assembling on December 28.
“The helicopter arrived in one part and the other coupling parts arrived differently.
It was necessary for the cargo to go through the mandatory customs clearance, after getting the necessary approvals from NPA and the Nigeria Customs Service, we decided to collaborate with them to provide the terminal facilities for them to couple it as it is”.