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Reps Pledge to Reclaim Government Helicopters Sold to Private Buyers

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The House of Representatives has committed to reclaiming two Bell helicopters, specifically the Bell 206L4 BZB and Bell M2061-L4, which were originally owned by the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, but were sold to private individuals.

During an investigative hearing held in Abuja on Thursday, the Chairman of the House of Reps Committee on Public Assets, Ademorin Kuye, voiced determination to retrieve the helicopters sold to private hands, leaving the college without any helicopters for training purposes.

Expressing concern over the sale, Kuye highlighted that the security agencies, including the Nigerian Air Force, Navy, and Police, had shown interest in purchasing the helicopters. However, their requests were denied by the NCAT management.

Mr. Shaka Imalighwe, the Acting Rector of NCAT, clarified that he was not involved in the sales process as he assumed the position after the helicopters were sold. He confirmed that there was no helicopter currently available for training at the institution.

Despite requests for documents regarding the sales process made to NCAT, including approvals from the Federal Executive Council and the Ministry of Aviation, as well as newspaper advertisements announcing the intention to sell the helicopters, the committee had not received them.

The lawmakers criticized NCAT for engaging an unlicensed auctioneer to sell the helicopters and summoned the former and current Minister of Aviation, the Ministry of Works, the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI), as well as the former and current Rectors of NCAT to appear before the committee in the next investigative hearing.

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