The National Agency for Science And Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has relocated its first made-in-Nigeria helicopter development project to the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Kaduna.
President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the relocation of the project from NASENI’s site in Abuja to the Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna. He also also directed that the helicopter project, initiated by NASENI, be launched before the end of his administration.
The official handover of space and hanger (helipad), including the runway for test-flight of the helicopter, located at AFIT, took place in Kaduna yesterday.
Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NASENI, Prof. Muhammed Haruna, who led his team to AFIT, said the efforts towards producing the first made-in-Nigeria helicopter started in 2017 and was gradually coming to fruition.
He said the relocation of the project to AFIT was to collaborate with the Nigerian Air Force to fast track production of the indigenous helicopter and provide the agency with necessary resources needed.
“There is no better environment and expertise for development of indigenous aircraft other than AFIT.
“Whatever the outcome of any aeronautic research, the first body to ascertain and deploy it is the Air Force,” Haruna said.
The Commandant of AFIT, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Aminu Yakubu, said the decision for the relocation of the helicopter project to AFIT was the most appropriate thing to do.
He said the institute had been involved in aircraft design and production, noting that it has a suitable environment for the helicopter development project.