A senior staff of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Thursday said those with little understanding of AMCON and its intervention in two leading airlines in the country namely: Arik Airline and Aero Contractors Limited should better keep quiet and let the Federal Government decide the fate of the two airlines.
Apparently reacting to comments credited to the Managing Director of Centurion Security, Group, Captain John Ojikutu (retired) who faulted an alleged plan by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to liquidate Arik Airline and sell it to Ethiopian Airlines. Ojikutu had premised his position on what he referred to as AMCON’s little or no knowledge about Nigeria’s aviation sector. But our source who pleaded anonymity said, “With all due respect, I sincerely think it is Captain John Ojikutu (Rtd.) that is not knowledgeable about the fast pace of events in the aviation sector in the country. I think people like that should keep quiet and watch the turn around that is taking place in the two airlines. At no time had AMCON claimed that the Corporation has expertise in managing airlines, which was of course why they appointed seasoned aviation professionals to manage the two airlines. So trying to smear the image of AMCON to enjoy media visibility, I think is childish and should not come from people like Capt. Ojikutu.”
He said he read line-by-line the porous arguments of Ojikutu regarding selling or not selling the airlines showed that Ojikutu and many like him have busied themselves in the business of peddling rumours as AMCON never told anybody that it is planning to sale either Arik or Aero to Ethiopian Airlines. But none of them have come out to justify why the previous managers of these airline would allow the huge indebtedness, which eventually led to their take over by AMCON.
When our reporter contacted Jude Nwauzor, Head, Corporate Communications of AMCON for his reaction, he said, “We (AMCON) will not join issues with people that are expressing their opinions regarding happenings in the aviation industry in the country. It is their fundamental right. The most important thing is that the government intervened in those airlines through the AMCON vehicle just to save them from collapse. If AMCON did not weigh in, even Capt. Ojikutu knows that these airlines would have become history by now.
“I am sure he would also attest to the fact that the airlines are a lot stable as we speak. Whatever the government/AMCON decides to do with the airlines in the future is nobody’s business. But should people express their opinion or make suggestions; yes they should. But is AMCON or the government compelled to accept these opinions or suggestion; no, they must not.”