…As FAAN moves to fix Lagos airport toilets
By Loius Ibah
Barely two weeks after it took over the management of Arik Air, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) says it has successfully commenced negotiations with the airline’s local and foreign creditors, just as it has began payment of staff salaries and insurance premium owed underwriting firms by the erstwhile management of the local airline. The airline is believed to be indebted to various creditor institutions to the tune of N300billion.
But a statement by the Corporate Affairs Department of AMCON on Sunday said “although the airline now managed by Capt. Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, under the receivership of Mr. Oluseye Opasanya (SAN), was confronted with a barrage of challenges created by the sacked Arik management, it has been able to surmount the problems to stabilise the airline’s operations with the few aircraft on its fleet.”
“Unlike what obtained before the takeover, Nigerian banks that hitherto turned their backs to Arik Air are now cooperating and supporting the new management; making the engagement with international and local creditors more successful, just as discussions with critical service providers and industry stakeholders have yielded the much desired positive results,” the statement added.
AMCON in the statement also said, “Average On-Time-Performance (OTP) of Arik Air to different destinations has improved; Arik has also paid the insurance premium, which was on the verge of expiring at the time it took over on February 9, 2017. It has also commenced the payment of outstanding salaries, which has greatly boosted staff morale as well as performance.
“Arik is also in discussion with different creditors and stakeholders to recall a good number of aircraft into the fleet as soon as possible, to increase the number of daily flights. Aside from that, a good number of affected passengers have been refunded while efforts are on to reach out to those yet to get their refund as a result of suspension of flights on some routes,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Saleh Dunoma, has ordered the speedy repairs of all broken down and malfunctioning equipment at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos in the aftermath of the unscheduled visit to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja by the Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, last Thursday.
Dunoma, who spoke with journalists at the weekend said mechanical equipment like the travelators needed to be fixed, as well as few toilet facilities and other external facilities that were not functional inside the airport.
“There are few things we need to fix immediately. This is a presidential directive and we will not waste time. We have a contract on the chillers, but funding has been a problem for us although we are pushing to see that it is fixed,” he added.