‘Cooperate with AMCON to revive airline’ — aviation workers beg ‘owners’ of Arik Air



Aviation workers, under the aegis of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), have called on the “owners” of Arik Air to cooperate with its receiver-manager appointed by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).


This is contained in a statement issued by Ocheme Aba, general secretary, NUATE.


The airline was created in 2004 by Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide, a businessman.


In February 2017, Arik Air was taken over by the federal government via AMCON due to the company’s huge debt profile, which was over N300 billion.


The government immediately dissolved the airline’s management team, and appointed a receiver manager.


Last month, media reports had said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detained Omokide Kamilu, receiver-manager for Arik Air, over alleged misappropriation and diversion of about N120 billion.


But the airline later debunked the allegation against Kamilu, describing it as “patently false”.


In the statement, Aba said the two entities (aside the workers) have the most to gain or lose  from the state of the airline, adding that “there is still much life in Airk Air ”.


“A recognition of this fact will alter the present state of adversity/animosity between the two gladiators which has been anything but helpful,” the statement reads.


“If the two parties agree to work together, and receive the understanding of the workforce, it is our concrete belief that a pathway out of the doldrums will be not too difficult to chart.


Aba advised AMCON to invest in Arik Air as the airline cannot move one inch out of the woods without some reasonable investment.


 “We consider that ultimately, the incoming Minister of Aviation will have to give due consideration with view of fostering the needed synergy among all stakeholders to assure that the foregoing objectives are positively delivered in the interest of the owners, the Receivers Manager, the workers, other creditors of Arik Air, and the aviation industry at large. This is necessarily the duty of government,” the statement adds.


“It is not clear what the mind of AMCON is reading right now. But, it is clear to us what the mind of the owners of Arik is reading; to get back their company.


“The purpose of this intervention is to assist to unite the minds of the owners with the Receivers in the direction that can, through practical deliverables, arrive at the point where a healthy Arik Air can return to normalcy at the peak of the Nigerian airline industry where it rightly belongs.


“We sincerely appeal to all parties to agree to a truce and start now to work in alliance to assure the health of the Airline. A healthy Arik Air should be the objective, and in fact the interest, of all. Anything else will do no one any good.”



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