AMCON, CBN Await Arik Resolution Strategy To Resolve N200bn Debt

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance, are awaiting a convincing resolution strategy from Arik owners to offset over N200 billion debt with the corporation.

The managing director/CEO, AMCON, Mr Ahmed Lawan Kuru, in a media parley with journalists in Ikeja, Lagos, yesterday, noted that, if not for the intervention of Arik by its corporation, the airline would have closed shops for businesses a long time ago.

While expressing misgivings over the information the owners of the Arik were pushing into the public which he said, was half truth, he noted that, “those pushing that negative campaign forgot that Arik at the time had a about 50 per cent passenger load before AMCON took over in 2017 under a receivership arrangement. However, because the government of the day was interested in saving the airline because of its strategic role in Nigeria’s aviation sector, felt strongly that the airline must be saved from imminent collapse and national embarrassment.”

READ ALSO: EFCC Goes After Dollar Speculators, CBN Slashes Banks Allocations

 At that time the government mandated AMCON to intervene in Arik, he disclosed that the airline was not paying staff salary, insurance, and could not afford to buy aviation fuel to keep the planes flying, even as nobody, including some key aviation international partners, wanted to do business with Arik among other issues.

“Everything was wrong with Arik as the airline delayed flights for two to three days in a row while its aircraft were being arrested abroad, which is a big embarrassment to the country. If AMCON had not stepped in at the time the government asked AMCON to intervene, Arik would have gone under within two weeks,” he pointed out.

Stressing that his corporation is willing to assist Atiku, he said: “the challenge of Sir Arumemi Johnson’s Arik Air Limited (in Receivership) under the auspices of AMCON, may seem difficult, but the situation is not irredeemable. 

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