Federal government sacks Arik Air management, takes over airline

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President Mohammadu Buhari, Nigeria's president
……stakeholders worried over the staff and AMCON capability to run the airline
The Asset Management company of Nigeria, AMCON,  has finally taken over the management of Arik airline.
The airline has been gradually with a lot of challenges since 2014 ranging from indebtedness to aviation agencies, oil marketers, catering services, grounding handling companies and other providers of ancillary services.
Building up  to the take over,  officers of the Nigerian police drove in and stationed their vehicles in the headquarters of arik air, a few minutes later the news broke that the Asset Management company of Nigeria, AMCON has taken over the  management of the airline.
At a news briefing on the development, head corporate communications of amcon,  Mr.  Jude Nwabuzor explained that the take over became necessary following the financial debt burden the airline was immersed in.
He listed this to include accumulated staff salaries,  default in its lease payment and insurance, poor corporate governance, demotivated pilots, poor safety measures  among others.
“For some time now, the airline, which carries about 55% of the load in the country, has been going through difficult times that are attributable to its bad corporate governance, erratic operational challenges, inability to pay staff salaries and heavy debt burden among other issues, which led to the call for authorities in the country to intervene before Arik goes under like many before it”.
 move, which clearly underscores government’s decision to instill sanity in the nation’s aviation sector has also prevented a major catastrophe that would among other factors protect, and preserve Arik Airlines as a going concern. The development will afford Arik Airlines, which is the largest local carrier to go back to regular and undisrupted operations, avoid job losses, protect investors and stakeholder funds as well as ensure safety and stability in the already challenged aviation sector”.
The airline would now be managed by Captain  Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, a veretan aviation expert under the receivership of Mr. Oluseye Opasanya, SAN.
 
Explaining the rationale for the latest intervention in Arik Airlines, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Siriki said, “We believe that this appointment is timely and will stabilize the operations of the airline. This will enhance the long term economic value of Arik Air and revitalize the airline’s ailing operations as well as sustain safety standards, in view of Arik Air’s pivotal role in the Nigerian aviation sector.”
Reacting to the intervention, minister of State aviation,  senator Hadi Sirika said this was timely and would help to enhance  the long term value of arik Air and revitalise  the airline’s ailing operations and sustain safety standards.

Speaking on the takeover by AMCOM, former chief pilot of Nigerian Airways and member of the Aviation Round Table, Captain Dale Ore said the development is very unfortunate.

“It is very unfortunate but am not excited about it because AMCOM does not have that capability to run an airline. I hope the workers will not be thrown out”, Ore said .

The veteran aviator however, advised AMCOM to look for good hands that can manage the ailing airline to profitability. He also said that.

The President of the National Association of Aircraft Engineers and Pilots NAAPE, Comrade Isaac Balami said he was very surprised hearing the news.

“Am surprised AMCOM took over Arik because I know it is over 100 billion Naira debt being owed. I also know that at some point Arik Arik was valued at 3 billion US dollars. I don’t know Arik has depreciated all that, for AMCOM to take over. it is surprising and that sends a strong signal to the aviation industry. AMCOM should however, look for people who who can turn the place around and not playing politics with it “.

In his own views, Secretary General of the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals, Comrade Saidu Abdulrasaq said that Arik Air is only paying for what they stole from Nigeria.

” Arik Air stole Nigerian properties without paying anything. That is why we are asking about Nigerian Airways. Federal Government should rename Arik to Nigerian Airways. The government should be serious this time to find out how, why and how much Nigerian Airways was sold”, Comrade Saidu said.

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