Tuesday, October 4, 2022

We will not delve too much into aviation business – AMCON

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Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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The Assets Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, says its involvement in aviation business is limited to the recovery of loans obtained by Arik Air and Aero Contractors Limited.

AMCON’s Senior Vice-President and Head of Receivership Support, Kamilu Omokide, told newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday that the company would not be delving further into the sector.

Recall that AMCON had taken over the affairs of Aero Contractors and Arik Air in 2011 and 2017 respectively, due to their huge debt profiles.

Mr Omokide said, “We are very clear as to our roles in Arik Air.

“Our primary aim is to recover debts and we were set up by the Federal Government to stabilise the banking industry primarily.

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” And by extension, to recover debts from the companies that borrowed money from the banking industry that made them weak.

“We are not going into aviation business after we have recovered our loans but our job in Arik is to stabilise the airline so that we can put the company in a position to repay its loans’’.

He noted that apart from Aero Contractors and other airline related businesses, it also had receivership in agriculture and other sectors.

He described AMCON as an enabler to all the sectors, and added that the aviation industry was very critical to the Nigerian economy.

“Arik Air and Aero Contractors are big airlines and that is why you see a lot of AMCON direct interest in those companies, otherwise we won’t be there.

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“Our job is to recover the money and in doing that we want Nigerians, especially the travelling public, to get some benefits from the airlines,’’ Mr Omokide said.

He disclosed that AMCON gave Arik Air N20,000 billion in 2011, as additional lending to help the airline to rejuvenate.

“So, talking about putting Arik into a position to pay itself, we have done six years before we decided to appoint a Receiver Manager to intervene.

“So, where we are now; it is a different recovery level because the initial level was building the capacity that could have made them repay.

“But where we are now in Arik is building capacity and exit from the business and how we will exit can take different forms and we have people in AMCON that are working on that beat.

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“My beat is to ensure that the airline is stabilised and that they are self-sufficient, and as you can see we have likely achieved it” Mr Omokide said.

He noted that before the takeover, Arik Air was doing an average of 1,400 passengers per day.

“But as at today, the airline is transiting over 5,000 passengers per day in all its domestic operations and a few West Coast operations.

NAN

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