Patronising Aero MRO Will Discourage Capital Flight – AMCON MD/CEO

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Asset Management Corporation of Niger (AMCON), Mr. Ahmed Kuru has called on aviation industry practitioners to patronise Aero Contractors’ MRO facility in Ikeja Lagos State, which made history at the weekend as the first ever carrier in Nigeria to conduct an aircraft C-check in the whole of West and Central Africa. The C-check, which was carried out on a Boeing 737-500 aircraft, was marked by a high-profile roll out ceremony, which held at Aero Headquarters at the local wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja. It was attended by crème-de-la-crème of aviation industry in the country.

Kuru, who was represented at the event by Mr. Aminu Ismail, the Executive Director in charge of Operations at the Corporation also called on other airline operators in the country to see the rare facility as credible alternative and a strategic way of stopping the huge capital flight that leaves the shores of Nigeria anytime Nigerians take their aircraft to other countries for C-checks. He said, “I would like to solicit the support for Aero MRO by all stakeholders, particularly the relevant aviation regulatory bodies, towards ensuring that this seed that has been planted is allowed to grow, in our collective interest as Nigeria and Nigerians.

“We cannot continue to allow capital flight of our scarce foreign exchange towards paying for services that are available in Nigeria and would provide a source of employment for our people. To this end a directive to other airlines towards the use of this facility at least to the extent of its capabilities and certifications, would go a long way towards ensuring the growth of the Aero MRO into being certified for other Aircrafts types,” Kuru pleaded.

Stressing his point further, Kuru maintained that it was important to underscore the fact that that Aero Contractors’ certification to conduct the C-checks for Boeing 737-500 series locally remains a boom for the industry because it would save millions of dollars that Nigerian Airlines and not just Aero, spend outside this country on facilities such as this. It is our belief that Aero’s maintenance facility will achieve huge savings for operators even from other neighbouring African countries, thereby attracting the much needed funds that is required to strengthen our economy. He stated that the success Aero has achieved with the facility could be replicated across other industries in Nigeria.

Again he said, “I strongly believe that more can be done if we imbibe good corporate governance, hold management accountable, and have responsive regulators. What we witnessed here today, which is the Roll Out of the First Successful Conduct of a Boeing 737-500 series C-check in the country justifies AMCON’s resolve and commitment towards the development and stabilisation of our challenged aviation sector. We are all living witnesses to the controversies that have trailed AMCONs intervention in the Aviation sector particularly for those who did not really understand AMCON’s mandate as a resolution and stabilisation vehicle, and the good intentions of both the Federal Government and AMCON in the sector.

“For us, aviation is not just a critical sector but also a strategic and core component of any economy or country that wants to compete on the global scale. If Nigeria must compete, our only option is to have a sustainable, vibrant and dependable aviation sector. Therefore intervening in Aero and indeed all other airlines in the country, was for us a national assignment, geared towards both our resolution objective and the need to help in rebuilding the Nigerian economy. As a recovery Agency of the Federal Government, it was not for us an option to stand aloof and watch while airlines such as Aero, with its rich history and others be grounded as a result of challenges in management and governance, plus accumulated debt obligations.”

Kuru also praised the Hon. Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, whom he said supported AMCON and the management of Aero led by Capt. Ado Sanusi all the way. He said, “I want to place on record the unflinching support we have always received from the Hon. Minister, who deeply understood the mandate of AMCON in aviation and stood firm by us when AMCON took all the tough decisions that have been earlier highlighted today. I also want to thank the Receiver Manager of Aero, Mr. Adeniyi Adegbonmire SAN, the Chief Executive Officer of Aero, Capt. Ado Sanusi and the entire team at Aero, for working hard at ensuring success in this venture.”

Earlier in his address, the Chief Executive Officer of Aero, Capt. Ado Sanusi also praised the intervention of AMCON, which he said would have been history without the intervention. He said, “The Managing Director of AMCON Mr. Ahmed Kuru deserves special accolades as well. AMCON plays and continues to play critical roles that have culminated with Aero being able to sustain its operations and slowly returning to viability. Without the support of AMCON, some tough decisions would have never been taken and we wouldn’t have gathered here today. For his personal and professional support, Aero expresses gratitude to AMCON.”

Capt. Sanusi also showered appreciation on S.A.A. Technique and AJW Group, the technical partners whom he disclosed that Aero holds in the highest of esteem for their commitment in adding immense technical value to our Maintenance Department. He said both companies went far beyond the Terms of the MoU they signed on the project and worked with Aero team like a family. This gathering today is largely resulting from their commitment to aiding Aero build up its technical capacity.

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