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Rivers Govt. denies buying armoured choppers

13 April 2013, 07:26

Port Harcourt -  The Rivers Government on Friday described as baseless and untrue, allegations that Gov. Chibuike Amaechi had bought armoured helicopters and private jets for the 2015 election.

A statement signed by Ibim Semenitari, the Commissioner for Information and Communications in Port Harcourt, said that the state government had always owned a private jet and had not purchased new airplanes and had no intention to purchase a new one.

It stated that the state had bought two Bell 412 Helicopters at a cost of 29 million dollars as part of its collaboration with the Federal Government and support for the security agencies in the state.

"The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Office of the National Security Adviser, paid 15 million USD, while the Rivers State Government paid the balance.

"The Federal Government granted duty waiver.’’

"The helicopters are to be operated by the Nigerian police in conjunction with the oil companies who have offered to bear some of the operating costs,  to enable the government to combat the menace of oil bunkering.’’

"The Helicopter are to be fitted with cameras for aerial surveillance and would be used to combat the menace of oil bunkering, protect lives and property in the state,’’ the statement said.

It said that the helicopters were being freighted into Nigeria and would be re-assembled in Lagos.

The statement said that the state government had announced its intention to purchase two security helicopters at several fora.

 The statement thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for his quick action and amazing support leading to the purchase of the helicopters.

It stated that Jonathan’s commitment to national security and willingness to collaborate with all tiers of government and all sectors to ensure the security of lives and property should be commended and supported.



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