The Osun State Government has said it may recall a helicopter bought by the immediate past administration for surveillance, but currently on lease.
This, it noted, was to curb rising spate of crime in the state and its environs.
In an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, the Supervisor for the state Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr Lani Baderinwa, said the helicopter was currently on lease, generating some income for the state.
He said the state might recall the helicopter and be deployed for the purpose it was initially bought, due to the rising crime rate in the state.
Asked the amount the helicopter had generated for the state since it was leased out, Baderinwa said the figure was not readily available.
He said, “Anytime we have a need for it, we can get it. We may recall it. There was a time the wife of a politician was abducted; the helicopter was recalled (for her rescue). It helped in the search and those abducted were rescued in good time.”
According to him, the lease arrangement has assisted the government to keep the helicopter in good shape, at no extra cost.
“You know the helicopter cannot be left unused. It must be used regularly. The decision to lease it out has assisted us to keep the helicopter in good shape, and, at the same time, earn the state some revenue,” Baderinwa said.
The administration of the immediate past governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, in February 2013 unveiled the French 2006 model five-plus-one passenger Eurocopter AS-355N helicopter.
The then Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, Semiu Okanlawon, had said in a statement that the helicopter, under a lease agreement with OAS Helicopters, Lagos, would complement the state’s investments towards the protection of lives and property of its citizenry.