There are indications that the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has taken over Arik Air over huge indebtedness running into several billions of naira.
Although details are still sketchy, the AMCON management are expected to release a statement on the matter any moment from now.
Arik Air around midnight released a statement through their spokesman, Adebanji Ola revealing that: “Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, 8 February 2017 visited Arik Air’s head office.”
Arik like many other airlines are having problems, but Arik’s problems has seriously exposed its underbelly as the carrier is currently struggling to pay staff salaries amidst other overwhelming odds outstanding debts to agencies, fuel suppliers, hoteliers and aircraft maintenance engineers.
The debts of the airline are said to be quite staggering. Investigation has shown that the airline, cumulatively, recorded over N30 billion debts before the intervention of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).
The intervention of AMCON was initially believed to provide a financial lifeline to keep the airline afloat. But as the company took over 60 per cent of the airline’s equity, the situation exacerbated as the airline now struggles to even pay salaries.
This is coming as operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, visited Arik Air’s head office and took away the Chairman of the airline, Mr. Arumemi Johnson-Ikhide.
Spokesman for the airline, Mr Banji Ola in a statement Thursday said the EFCC held a brief meeting with Chairman of Arik Air, Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide after which the Chairman visited their Ikoyi, Lagos office for further discussions and to respond to their enquiries.