FG Vows To Recover N37bn Debts Owed By Bi-Courtney, Others

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja Nigeria and the country’s Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika (inset)

Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s aviation minister has said that efforts have been intensified by the ministry to recover the over N37 billion debts owed by airlines in the country. Sirika made this known at the weekly ministerial press briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Thursday.

He specifically labelled Bi-Courtney Limited as a chronic debtor and disclosed that the company owed about N13 billion and had never remitted a dime to government coffers for 13 years. He explained that the debts were owed to aviation parastatals including Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), and others.

He said, “It is about N37 billion that they are owing, especially, Arik, the culprit. I know they are owing us about, N14 billion. If you are owing government, you are owing FAAN; the Bi-Courtney is owing about N14 billion as at the last count. It has not paid a single dime since the time he started to run the terminal building, and we have not ceased giving him, electricity, water, fire cover, and so on and so forth.

“He has not paid a dime for 13 years, and if we go to shut his doors, media, of course, and Nigerian people will say we are killing businesses. But he is killing our services too because we have to have that money to provide for that toilet that you’re looking (for)in Lagos airport.

The minister, however, vowed that the government would go after the airlines and other aviation stakeholders to make sure that they pay what they owe. “Most of these agencies are living by their Internally Generated Revenues (IGRs) and so we need the money but we will go after the money,’’ he added.

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