By JIMITOTA ONOYUME
PORT HARCOURT— RIVERS State Government, yesterday, released details of the agreement for the purchase of its two helicopters that had attracted serious media attention lately.
Briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt, Commissioner for Information and Communications in the state, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, said it was important that the Helicopter Purchase Agreement was released to the public, so that the media could follow up on any area requiring clarification.
She said that media organisations were free to contact Africair Inc, a Florida, US, corporation, the state government entered into the agreement with for the purchase of the helicopters.
According to the Helicopter Purchase Agreement, the two Bell 412EP helicopters were purchased at $28.414 million.
The agreement also states that the helicopters were manufactured by Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. The agreement indicates that the purchase price covered “freight and ferry charges, disassembly, crating, reassembly and insurance from the place of delivery to the Helicopters’ final destination, which shall be the seller’s responsibility.
“The purchase price include a Bell transition training course for two pilots per helicopter; a Bell field maintenance training course for one engineer and a Bell electrical training course for one engineer per helicopter at no additional charge.”
Fielding questions from newsmen, the commissioner explained that the helicopters were paid for by the state and Federal Governments, adding that they were acquired to tackle security challenges in the state, including bringing illegal bunkering operations to a halt. She added that the state House of Assembly gave approval to the state government to pay its share of the purchase price.