Nigerian Government Takes Over Troubled Airline (Arik Air)
The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) Thursday took over the management of Arik Air as part of measures to provide respite for the airline.
AMCON according to a statement has appointed Captain Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu as the managing director and Mr Seyi Opasanya (SAN) under receivership arrangement.
The takeover according to AMCON clearly underscores government’s decision to instill sanity in the nation’s aviation sector and has also prevented a major catastrophe that would among other factors protect, and preserve Arik Airlines as a going concern.
Thursday, there was serious security presence at the head office of the airline to ensure effective takeover of the airline.
The statement reads:” From all indications, respite may have come the way of Arik Airlines currently immersed in heavy financial debt burden that is threatening to permanently ground the airline.
For some time now, the airline, which carries about 55 percent 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.
“The 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.”
AMCON said 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 statement further reads:” The airline would now be managed by Capt. Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, a veteran 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, he said 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.”