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Ending the feud over Rivers State helicopters

According to the purchase documents that the state government made public, the helicopters cost 29 million dollars. The state government also claimed that the federal…

According to the purchase documents that the state government made public, the helicopters cost 29 million dollars. The state government also claimed that the federal government, which it also said was informed of the helicopter deal, had contributed 15 million dollars of that amount.  
Pipeline security has been a serious challenge, because their frequent breaches by oil thieves cause widespread destruction of the landscape and affect the federal government’s budgetary projections, losing estimated 7 billion dollars every year. If the federal government contributed to the helicopters’ purchase on the basis of the Rivers State Government’s proposal, it would suggest that it had been part of the arrangement from the beginning. But the state government had been unable to bring in the aircraft because the Nigerian aviation authorities said there was no clearance obtained for them to do so.
There are suggestions that the stalemate is part of the simmering political feud between Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who has since left the Peoples Democratic Party to join the opposition All Progressives Congress, and top officials and others linked to the Presidency.  
 Given the positively poisoned political atmosphere, it is unlikely, at least for now, that the helicopters would be deployed to their original mission while in the ownership of the Rivers State Government. But the stalemate has to be broken, one way or another, in order to cut cost and for the country to get the desired services from their operation.
 Whatever may be the political disagreements over the purchase of the helicopters, the fact is that the Nigerian taxpayer’s money, even though appropriated and spent without his consent, is involved here. The federal government should ask the aviation authorities to waive their objections and allow the helicopters to be brought in. The terms of the relationship between both parties over the status of helicopters can be reworked so that areas of doubts about the crafts’ deployment will be removed. If mutual ownership cannot be agreed upon, or is not possible at the moment, the Federal Government can take possession of the helicopters, but must reimburse the Rivers State government.  
The continued refusal by the aviation authorities, perhaps with the tacit approval of higher quarters to maintain the status quo, only underlines the notion that some government agencies overreach themselves in the exercise of their regulatory powers. After all, there is nothing that stops a state government or even private individuals, from importing helicopters, provided stipulated rules have been followed. Should there be any such laws that made the purchase of the helicopters by the Rivers State government illegal, this should have been made clear from the outset. But the matter has gone beyond that now; how to resolve it is what should occupy the attention of those concerned.  But the first thing to do in the circumstance is to allow the helicopters in first.     
 The current stalemate is not sustainable because the government continues to lose money while it lasts.

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