Home / Analysis / Divergent reactions trail call to make Arik National Carrier (Part Three): Aligbe stands against
Arik Air 737-800. Picture from Airliners.net

Divergent reactions trail call to make Arik National Carrier (Part Three): Aligbe stands against

  • Says Arik and Aero do not belong to government
THE call for Arik Air to be made national carrier has been swinging like a pendulum as stakeholders have aired out series of thoughts as to why Arik Air under the management of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) should be or not made national carrier.

Managing Director of Belujane Consult and a former General manager in the Defunct Nigeria Airways, Mr. Chris Aligbe at the weekend gave his own reasons why he feels the idea should be jettisoned and advised the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika not to give it a thought.

According to Aligbe, the proposal mooted by AMCON CEO, Ahmed Kuru during his budget defense to the National Assembly that the Minister of Aviation should merge Arik and Aero and use them to float a National Carrier rather than starting a brand new one will not fly as both entities do not belong to the government.

Aligbe said,” There are still a few who believe that Aero and Arik are airlines that belong to the government. It is not true. If they were, they would be under Aviation not AMCON that has no statutory responsibility on aviation but rather on debt collection. Any attempt to move outside this statute will occasion international litigation that could be unresolved for many years. This is because both the original owners and creditors will head to court to challenge the Federal Government.

“Even the idea of merging two airlines which the proponents have acknowledged ‘are not doing well’ to form a new national carrier is fraught with so many intractable challenges that will make the product a disaster ab initio.

He raised some questions following the call for the merger of the two and subsequent transformation into a nation carrier, asking: Can any healthy and virile establishment be founded on the back of unhealthy and struggling entities? Will any sensible investor invest in such establishment? Where no investors come, such a national carrier will exist on 100% government equity, just like the liquidated Nigeria Airways. Have we so soon forgotten the bane of Nigeria Airways? And can AMCON’s liabilities from Aero and Arik, vicariously or inferentially, be assigned simplicter to the Federal Government? Ditto the assets? If not, then the argument of Federal Government owning two airlines – Aero and Arik fails to sail.

Aligbe further argued that in the entire three-year period of due process, Arik and Aero were never in consideration for the National carrier.

“AMCON’s proposal is therefore an unnecessary distraction at best and, at worst, an uncanny step to truncate the Nigeria Air Project, he said,” Kuru took his proposal to the National Assembly, having failed to secure consent from the Ministry of Aviation. Was it in good faith? Or an attempt to arm-twist? Any which way, the NASS has no statutory/constitutional right to compel the Ministry’s acceptance of Kuru’s fantasy. I wish public officials should know and act within statutes. Kuru’s push is outside the oversight role of the NASS, ‘he said.

He went further to ask on Kuru’s statement that ‘Arik is now positioned for profitability’ if:

“First, is Kuru sincere in his avowal? What are his indices of Arik’s profitability? AMCON took over Arik with 15 aircraft. How many aircraft has the airline now? What is the debt profile of Arik as at today? How much has AMCON recovered since it took over Arik. What is the operational status of Arik in terms of route network and schedule integrity? What about maintenance integrity which Arik had the highest rating on before AMCON’s takeover?”

He called on AMCON to publish its score-card to show the ‘great success’ it has achieved stating, “I dare AMCON to do so because, as at today, what is known is that Aero is keeping faith and in about four years’ time, it’s close to N30billion outstanding debt will be paid off while Arik is not anywhere close.

Aligbe further said that since AMCON does not possess, and is not expected to possess turnaround competence for complex organizations like airlines, AMCON, knowing this, should have engaged renowned firm of Consultants or Turnaround Management Team to engineer their quick (usually 5 years) turnaround.

If AMCON had taken this road, it would have found that at the time of take-over, Aero exhibited more turnaround symptoms than Arik, despite the fact of by “far larger volume of Arik’s debt”.

About NigerianFlightDeck

mm
Nigerianflightdeck is an online news and magazine platform reporting business stories with a bias for aviation and travel. It is borne out of the intention to inform, educate as well as alter perceptions with balanced reportage.

Check Also

NCAA/Glo imbroglio: As 30 day ultimatum rounds off, who blinks first?

"This AHC has always been there from the outset and it isn't about telcos alone. There are high-rise buildings that have to comply to the AHC so it's not about them. In truth, they were all complying during the advent but when Glo started flouting it, the others joined. Not all are defaulting with the AHC directive, just majorly Glo

AIB set standards for safety, engages stakeholders, reviews impact of investigations

"There is usually a drop in passenger traffic after an airplane crash. In cases where the AIB report was quickly released, the passenger traffic shot back up (e.g. The 2013 Associated Airlines Flight 361 crash). The Nigerian Aviation sector has huge potentials. AIB reports are critical in the Aviation Value Chain and for the development of the Aviation Industry especially Consumer confidence which would in turn lead to the desired Increase in passenger Traffic."

What President Buhari must do to improve aviation in the next four years

In the wake of the 2019 elections, Nigerianflightdeck feels there are areas where the administration …

Investors, government express divergent views over aviation industry future

INVESTORS, professionals and participants converged in Abuja to make themselves heard and find solutions to …

Jets versus turbo props: What is suitable for the Nigerian market?

ROUTES around Nigeria are between an hour and one hour thirty minutes and this has …

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: