Matawalle: With Caverton Facilities, We Can Collaborate to Build Nigeria

Bennett Oghifo

 The Minister of State for Defence, Mohammed Bello Matawalle, has expressed optimism that with Caverton Helicopters’ facilities and achievements, Nigerians no longer need to travel abroad for aviation-related procurement, maintenance and training.

The minister stated this during his facility tour of the company’s Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) section, Training Centre and AW-139, as well as AW-109 Flight Simulators at its Ikeja training centre located at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, yesterday.
According to the minister, who is immediate past Governor of Zamfara State, Caverton has the capacity to serve as the hub for aviation maintenance and training in Nigeria.

Speaking about his experience after the tour of the facilities, the elated Matawalle said, “I am simply happy and excited with what l have seen today for an indigenous company to have invested so much on these facilities. I am speechless. With the facilities on ground, Caverton no doubt, has become a hub for the Nigerian Aviation sector and other sectors.

“With what they have done, we will be able to handle our things on our own. We don’t have to be going abroad to maintain our facilities. The commitment, dedication to duties I saw in these young men is profound. I am excited and impressed. No doubt the forward-looking company has supported the local content with the popular cliché “Caverton is built in Nigeria, made in Nigeria for Nigerians.”

According to the minister, “I have heard about Caverton, its world class simulator and its wonders in the Nigerian Aviation sector. Like the popular cliche ‘seeing is believing’. Today I am excited and I was talking to the CEO Bode that with this, we don’t have to take our aircraft maintenance abroad because with Caverton, we have everything.

“With this, we will have a collaboration between the Caverton and the Military Industrial Complex as the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force and even the Army don’t have to go abroad for procurement of any aircraft or maintenance.

“I have seen the MRO section and I am so excited that the spare parts they have on ground are of international standard.

“Congratulations to the Caverton Group,” the defence Minister saluted the management, adding that, “I can assure you that the Ministry of Defence will work hand-in-hand with Caverton to make sure that we build Nigeria. And with the Renewed Hope of Mr. President, the Ministry of Defence will work and support you in moving this country forward.

“I see talented young boys going through training and with the strong management team that Caverton put in place, I believe that this place will be a hub for Nigerian Aviation.

Welcoming the minister earlier, the Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Rotimi Makanjuola, presented the special guest with information about Caverton Offshore Support Group touching on its two subsidiaries namely, the Caverton Marine, which he said launched recently 15 locally built 40-passenger ferries from its boatyard, built in partnership with Lagos State Government, and Caverton Helicopters.

The subsidiary visited, Caverton Helicopters, he said has its components namely the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) including the Aircraft Maintenance Hangar, Engineering Workshops, Spray Booth, Bonded Store, UAV Ground School.

The COO told the guest that Caverton Offshore Support Group, which is listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange, “takes great pride in being the leading offshore support logistics company in Nigeria” with its subsidiaries, Caverton Marine and Caverton Helicopters, equally positioned as leaders in their respective fields.

“Caverton Marine started out in 1999 as a vessel owner, operator and recently diversified into designing and building GRP boats ranging from passenger ferries to security boats.

“Caverton Helicopters Limited is the largest indigenous aviation logistics support company in Nigeria, with over two decades of experience providing rotary and fixed wing services to the oil and gas industry. We currently operate a mixed fleet of aircraft across multiple locations in Nigeria and West Africa.”

One of the key achievements of the company, he said, was establishment of the MRO facility that he described as the only world-class in sub-Saharan Africa, right on ground in Lagos, Nigeria.

According to him, “This facility has allowed us to deliver light and heavy maintenance, repair, and overhaul services to our clients. We are honoured to have had the opportunity to serve the Nigerian Navy, Airforce, and other government agencies, ensuring the safety and reliability of their aircraft.”

Speaking furthermore he said the Caverton Aviation Training Centre houses the first-ever full reality AW-139 simulator, as well as the AW-109 simulator that was only recently commissioned by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. BabajideSanwo-Olu.

“These simulators enable us to provide comprehensive and realistic training to our pilots, ensuring the highest standards of safety and operational excellence. We hope that the Honourable Minister will have a memorable and enlightening experience during his planned first flight in the AW-139 simulator,” he told the guest.

He also stated the company’s landmark achievements saying, “Our success at Caverton is built on the pillars of innovation, professionalism, safety and unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction. We are proud of our achievements and the positive impact we have made in the Nigerian aviation and maritime sectors.”

He said, “With the MRO we do alot of our maintenance here. The only thing we don’t do is the engine. We are proud to say that we run the only AW-109 Flight Simulator in the whole of Africa. People come from as far as Turkey and other places to train with our simulator because there are not many simulators of this type in the world.”

According to Makanjuola, by local content, “Some of our trained pilots are flying in Saudi Arabia and other countries. We don’t like to see them going away but, then, we also like to see them progressing,” and then declared commencement of the tour to conduct the minister round the facilities.

The visit was to showcase what Caverton is doing for Nigeria and Africa in the aviation sector. Since its inception, the company has been a game changer as its enormous contributions have changed the face of aviation in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

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