We Are Not Part Of Nigeria Air..AMCON

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has dismissed insinuations that it is planning to use the assets of Aero Contractors and Arik Air, two troubled airlines under its management, to establish a national carrier.

The Managing Director of AMCON, Mr. Ahmed Kuru made the clarifications in an interview recently, noting that it even made no sense to create a national carrier from a crisis-ridden airline.

He dismissed suggestions that the takeover of Aero and Arik was part of a plan to merge the two airlines and convert them to the national carrier.

Kuru said he was never invited “to discuss any plan to convert or merge the airlines’ assets for the purpose of establishing a national carrier.”

Kuru said: “Nigerians like conspiracy theories. We love conspiracy theories. If today AMCON is going to use Arik and Aero to create a national carrier, there will be any apology around it because the assets belong to AMCON.

“Such plans will be hidden and it will be in the interest of the organisation. However, there has never been any discussion – formally or informally – about converting those assets into a national carrier.

“Nobody has ever invited me or called me to talk about the idea of the national carrier or bringing AMCON’s assets to establish a national carrier. Number two, even if I had been called, I would have advised against it.

“You do not want to create a national carrier with all the problems you have in Arik and Aero. How can you set up a national carrier from crisis? AMCON is not part of any national carrier plans. It’s not even in the national interest to do that.”

The Minister of State, Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika had said the proposed national airline for the country would be unveiled in December. Sirika disclosed this in a statement by the ministry’s Deputy Director, Media and Public Affairs, James Odaudu.

He said there “is no doubt that the issue of national carrier for Nigeria is very close to the hearts of both the government and the people, which is the reason it has taken the option of a Public Private Partnership with the belief that it was the only way to deliver a national carrier that would stand the test of time.”

But preparatory to the actualisation of the national carrier proposal, there have been speculations that Aero and Arik are being slated as the airlines whose assets the government would convert to achieve the purpose.

AMCON, however, insisted that it was not part of such arrangement, though confirming that its plan “to divest in Aero and Arik were in top gear.”

Specifically, Kuru pointed out: “For Aero, we have gone very far. We are almost concluding. For Arik, we’re almost 55 per cent (near completion). Like I always say, if the owner as of today comes to tell us, ‘OK, take this money,’ we’ll give consideration to that.

“We will not take over any business and give it to somebody that we know will just rubbish it. However, we believe that there are certain businesses based on the amount that the people will pay for those businesses, they will not play with it.

“Therefore, it is important to us that Arik and Aero survive because they are very strategic airlines. That is why we are ensuring that we get very good buyers – people that are strong in the industry; people that can add value to it. We have gone very far. For Aero, we have gone 90 per cent. For Arik, we are around 55 per cent.”


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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