The Association of Concerned Aviation Industry (ACAP) has alleged that the N10 billion requested by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to fix Arik Air might be diverted by the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, to pursue his gubernatorial ambition in 2019.
ACAP in a full page advertisement said AMCON and Sirika want to use Arik Air as conduit to divert the money and wondered why despite the N20 billion AMCON allegedly spent to revive Aero Contractors, the airline is in a worse state today than when it was taken over by the corporation five years ago.
“On Monday ACAP issued a statement warning of a plot by a cabal to hijack Arik Air, some people thought it was an exaggeration. Now, the evil agenda hatched by Minister of State, Sirika, using the AMCON as cover, is beginning to unfold.
“Within 24 hours of the hostile takeover, AMCON is saying that it needs N10billion to fix the airline.
“ACAP wishes to remind the public that this same AMCON took over Aero in 2012 claiming that the airline owed N12billion. At the time, the airline had nine aircraft and was worth far more than the alleged debt,” the body said.
It noted that after taking over Aero, AMCON has used an additional N20billion to chase a purported N12billion debt, leaving the airline “in a N32billion debt hole!”
“Aero is down from nine aircraft to two and by the time chop-chop asset corporation of Nigeria and their paymasters finished with the airline, its value as at last year was under N5billion! They have come again! They say they need N10 billion. Nigerians should ask them: for what?” the stakeholder said.
ACAP said it was aware that the minister who allegedly is the arrowhead of “this hostile takeover, is planning to run for election as governor in his state in 2019. Is the N10 billion the first tranche of his campaign fund?