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The Managing Director of Asset management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has described annexed Arik Air as a serial delinquent debtor before the Senate Committee at the National Assembly, Abuja.
AMCON also revealed further that despite Arik’s refusal to pay its debts, the airline was making estimated revenue of N7bn monthly.
Appearing before the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions in Abuja on Wednesday, Kuru alleged that Arik Air broke several business rules and agreements before the takeover.
Revealing that Arik Air and all other firms belonging to its principal promoter, Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, were indebted to it to the tune of N263.7bn and this is apart from the different amounts owed other creditors and members of staff in the form of salary arrears.
Continuing, AMCON boss added that “Currently, based on the analysis and the reports that we received from outside, Arik Air is confronted with some of these challenges: they have consistently defaulted in servicing all their loans; they have consistently defaulted in making all the lease payments; they have consistently defaulted in paying even insurance premium; they have failed to meet other service providers’ obligations.
“There is total lack of accountability, because nobody knows what is happening there financial-wise. And they have also accumulated regulatory debts, some of which we couldn’t verify before, but which we now know to be N26.4bn, including $3.3m. These are debts to the NCAA, FAAN, NAMA, etc.”
In his further submission, Kuru observed that the key factor leading to the many financial challenges of the company is poor corporate governance as key business decisions were taken solely by the owner.
“And they have failed to even pay staff salaries. They are owing salaries for periods ranging between five and seven months, depending on the department,” he added.
In his remarks after hearing from AMCON, Chairman of the committee, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, said the lawmakers were in support of AMCON’s activities.
He said, “I would like to put it on record that from the inception of the eighth Senate, we have made it clear to the nation that we are in a total support of the management team of AMCON, because we saw the huge responsibility on its table.