BELARUS TO SET UP HELICOPTER MAINTENANCE FACILITY IN NIGERIA

 

 

DAILY TRUST
Friday, 07 October 2011

The government of the Republic of Belarus said it will open a new embassy in Abuja and establish an aircraft overhaul centre.The country, formerly part of the Soviet Union has no office in Nigeria but had established military ties with Nigeria since 2003.

The Director General of the state-owned Foreign Trade Unitary Enterprise of Belarus Major General Siarhei V. Barysionak said yesterday at a meeting with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence Linus Awute in Abuja that the government of Balarus will establish an embassy in Abuja in 2012 .

He said as the leader of his country’s delegation to Nigeria, he will advise his government to establish an industry for the repairs of combat helicopters. The delegation also resolved to give advice to the government of Belarus to establish a centre for the refurbishment of military hardware.The company has carried out contracts worth $20 million in Nigeria.

Earlier Mr. Awute had informed the delegation that the two countries must discuss further on how to sign the Memorandum of Understating on bilateral ties between them prepared in 2003.

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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9 Responses to BELARUS TO SET UP HELICOPTER MAINTENANCE FACILITY IN NIGERIA

  1. Chidi says:

    Interesting, where will it be set up?

  2. doziex says:

    Hopefully, it will be set up with proper long term planning. Perhaps near a technical or an engineering institute with all the skilled labour that entails. We can’t afford the usual politically motivated locating of the facility. This is the gateway to refurbishing, maintainance and ultimately manufacturing ex-soviet block equipment.

  3. Edowaye says:

    This is a welcome development for our security forces and homeland security. It will also help to curb the increasing trend of capital flight associated with maintenance projects of this kind. Moreover, this proposed colloboration would help to develop local capacity through knowledge transfer.

    • Edowaye says:

      I totally agree with you Edowaye. This is the type of collaboration that’s required for truly beneficial bilateral partnership.

  4. beegeagle says:

    @Dozie. The BSVT group of Belarus already support the maintenance of Mil helicopters at the 97 Special Operations Group of the NAF in Port Harcourt. I want to believe that this would be taking off on the foundations laid by the technical cooperation agreement.

    For decades now dating back to the induction of Dornier Do-28 airframes into NAF service and the era of the German Technical Training Team which groomed the NAF during its formative years, Dornier have had a maintenance facility in conjunction with AIEP in Kaduna.

    It is widely believed that the fact of that facility being domiciled in-country chiefly explains the reality of Alpha Jets and Dornier utility planes having remained aloft during the era of sanctions which were slammed against the military in the 1990s.

    Indeed, Alpha Jets stayed aloft and in action throughout the 1990s in Liberia and Sierra Leone. You might also recall that the Dornier planes remained operable and that the outgone Chief of Army Staff, General Ishaya Bamaiyi had an accident at the Nguru Airstrip while flying in a Do-228. That happened in 1996 during the Abacha years when sanctions were firmly in place.

    To that extent, this embryonic project represents a step taken in the right direction. It might interest us to not that Singapore’s Suncraft Group which lately supplied a few hundred gunboats and landing craft to the Nigerian military have since opened their Africa Regional Office at Abuja; ostensibly with a view to better serving their top African client.

    Finally, let us add that the Minister of State I(Foreign Affairs),Prof Viola Onwuliri was in The Ukraine two weeks ago. An NTA News report monitored in Lagos revealed that, among other things, she signed a Protocol on Defence with the Ukrainians.

    @Edowaye and Doziex. There is nothing to be added to your contributions really. It is a right step no doubt.

  5. beegeagle says:

    LOCAL SHIPBUILDING PROSPECTS

    2 December 2010
    Daily Independent (Lagos) Nigeria :

    Indian Firm Seeks to Invest in Shipyard Goa Shipyard in Vasco Dagama of India has expressed its intention to invest in developing the shipyard and ship repair sector of the Nigerian maritime industry.

    Disclosing this in Lagos during a courtesy call on the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ( NIMASA), managing director and chief executive officer of the company, Vladmir Kumar, said their coming to Nigeria was to invest in developing structural capabilities in the Nigerian maritime sector.

    He commended NIMASA management for creating the enabling environment for foreign investors to partner their local counterparts in the Nigerian maritime sector, noting that the GSL patrol boats will be very useful for effective patrolling in shallow waters of the estuarine canals and creeks which are predominant in the Niger delta region of the country.

    Goa shipyard is located on the West Coast of India and they produce patrol vessels, as long as 105 meters in length, landing crafts, sail training ships, missile corvette, hydrographic survey vessels, passenger vessels, oil tankers, offshore platforms, and tug boats among others.
    Commending Goa for choosing to invest in Nigeria, director general of NIMASA, Temisan Omatseye, stated that the country has vast maritime potentials, which provides a major investment opportunity for any investor. He described the Local Content Act, and the Nigerian Cabotage Law as instruments of government that provides the protection for indigenous investors and their international counterparts who desire to invest directly in developing local capacity and infrastructures in the maritime sector.

    Reiterating NIMASA’s commitment to developing ship repair and ship building capacity in the country, Omatseye told the Goa team that the agency has proposed some fiscal and administrative incentives to encourage the growth of the sector in Nigeria. These include tax holidays and declaring shipyards as free trade zones amongst others. “I am looking at a private sector driven shipbuilding sector. We will provide the enabling environment for your investment to thrive and our aim is to adopt a ground level – upward strategy. Our desire to develop a virile ship repair industry in Nigeria is borne out of the need to start maintaining the hundreds of vessels on our ship registry.” he said

    The DG stated that a virile ship repair industry is a major tool that will enhance enforcement of minimum safety standards in the Nigerian maritime sector as stipulated by the International Maritime Organisation. (IMO), “establishing ten fully functional ship repair yards in Nigeria would only be a starting point. If I cannot encourage the growth of Shipyards in Nigeria, enforcing the regulatory tools as stipulated by the IMO will be difficult to implement. It’s now a case of the chicken and the egg, which comes first?”

    He also noted that with the application for extension of the Nations Exclusive Economic Zone, the need for large patrol boats in the near future would become inevitable. He also gave assurance that the agency will collaborate with the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), to harmonies positions in ensuring that investment in Nigeria by Goa shipping company is grounded on the right footing.

  6. beegeagle says:

    LOCAL SHIPBUILDING PROSPECTS: ANOTHER INDIAN FIRM DISCUSSING JV PARTNERSHIP (this one, based on reports seen at the time, would involve the construction of offshore patrol vessels)

    Mumbai ABG Shipyard to build facility in Nigeria
    TRANSREPORTER
    27 APRIL 2011

    ABG Shipyard Limited will float a joint venture (JV) with the Nigerian government and investment firms to build one of the largest ship-building facilities in the African nation. The Indian shipmaker will have a 40 % stake with management control for 20 years, two executives at ABG said.

    This is the first time an Indian shipmaker is joining hands with international investors to build a shipyard. The first phase investment on the project is estimated at $100 million; the yard will be built in multiple phases.

    The Nigerian government, a clutch of private equity investors including Nkrah Investment Limited and BGL Private Equity Limited will pick up a stake in the joint venture. Nkrah Investment and BGL Private Equity couldn’t be reached for comment. “This will be the largest shipyard in Africa and ABG Shipyard will be the technical partner with a majority stake,” one of the executives cited above said.

    The person said Nigeria contributes to 30 % of the oil produced in Africa, but has a “second-hand fleet” to handle its needs. “The idea is to create the largest shipyard in Africa that has the capability of building the largest vessels and offshore assets,” the company executive said.

    “However, the specific details of the investment and project are yet to be finalised,” the person said. “We are talking to the government and investors regarding this.”

  7. xnur44 says:

    The Mi-35p was introduced into the Nigeria Air Force in 2000 and by 2003 there were ominous signs that funding was an impediment because serviceability was about 60% and fluctuating. While NAF operational airframes peacetime availability is rated at 50% and wartime increased to 75%, this has not been possible due to lack of spare parts. The NAF should consider this mmaintenance facility in 2012 Air Force budget going forward because it is the best option and ignoring this offer will be horrendous for the Air Force.

    • beegeagle says:

      As far as the expanding fleet of Mil helicopters is concerned, Nigeria does need to have a facility akin to the Dornier-AIEP arrangement which suffices for Alpha Jet and Dornier Do-228 aircraft types. As we have seen, civil and military operators alike have continually patronised that Kaduna-based facility over the years.

      By the same token, a Mil-series helicopter maintenance facility is sure to gain customers from West Africa and Chad where the Mi-8/Mi-17, Mi-24 and Mi-35 utility and attack helicopters are widely deployed by national armed forces. Locally, it could very well encourage civil operators to consider the acquisition of the rugged and hugely successful Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopters and in the process ensure an even greater pool of customers for the helicopter maintenance facility.

      The value and potential viability of that project is not at all in doubt.

      As recently as 2008, the Nigerian Air Force had to turn to LOM Praha, an aircraft repair and maintenance company owned by the Czech Defence Ministry for major maintenance work on the Mi-35P

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