After years of neglect, four helicopters inherited from the defunct National Electric Power Authority by the Transmission Company of Nigeria have been valued at $720,000 (N259.20m) ahead of the proposed sale of the aircraft.
The government-owned TCN has expressed its readiness to put up for sale the Bolkow BO-105 helicopters, parked at the old domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
Our correspondent gathered that the helicopters, which were used for surveillance and fixing of faults on power transmission lines across the country, had been sitting idle at the airport for many years.
It was learnt that two of the helicopters, with registration numbers 5N-ASK and 5N-ASJ, had been grounded since 1995 and 1997, respectively. They were manufactured in 1978.
According to the TCN, it is uneconomical to repair them but they can be sold for $100,000 each in their current state.
The other two helicopters, with registration numbers 5N-BCJ and 5N-EPA, have been idle since 2008 and were valued at $340,000 and $180,000, respectively.
It was gathered that the helicopters, manufactured in 1996 and 1993, respectively, could be repaired to serve the TCN for a while.
The TCN recently announced the invitation to bidders/buyers for the disposal of the helicopters and some spare parts.
The company said in a public notice that prospective bidders should submit technical and financial bids on or before November 21, 2019.
A delegation of federal lawmakers inspected the helicopters on Saturday, saying the proposed sale and valuations of the aircraft would be examined.
The leader of the delegation, Senator Yusuf Yusuf (Taraba Central), said, “We have come here basically to carry out an inspection of the helicopters that the TCN proposed to put in the market for sale.
“There are some pertinent questions that we are going to ask. But looking at the physical assets, there are two that could be defined as scrap and the other two are serviceable.”
The General Manager, TCN, Lagos Zonal Office, Mr Lamina Adebola, said the helicopters were used in the past in repairing transmission lines.