By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-For failing to clarify the use of N2 trillion intervention funds given to it by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on Central Bank of Nigeria Wednesday summoned the former Managing Director of Arik Air, Mr. Johnson Ikedi Arumeme
Also invited for the issue was a bank Managing Director.
Both men are to appear before the Committee on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.
A statement by the Committee Chairman, Hon. Ewa Bassey also frowned at the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) for releasing such huge sum of money to Arik Air without proper monitoring.
“This is wrong, very wrong. We are not helping ourselves at all. And you have not been able to make contact with Arik to know what was actually going on,” Hon. Basset stated in the statement.
Essentially, the Ad Hoc Committee is investigating the alleged CBN intervention funds to Arik Air.
The committee feared that the money “must have been diverted,” especially as neither CBN nor AMCON followed up with the utilization of the released fund.
Other parties under investigation included the management of Arik Air, CBN, AMCON, Bank of Industry, and a consortium of commercial banks.
Meanwhile , the AMCON representative, Mr. Suleiman Abdulmajid, had told the Committee that the release of the fund to Arik Air was to give two of their grounded aircraft a facelift and as well purchase new engines.
“This was never a contract. It was meant to ensure that Arik never went under,” he stated.
He added that while a South African firm, Emirate Touch Consortium, was contracted to monitor Arik’s utilization of the fund for the purposes they were meant while a bank supervised the disbursement of the fund.
“It was later discovered that Arik never made use of the money for the reconfiguration, hence we reported them to EFCC”, Mr. Abdulmajeed said.
The next hearing of the committee is Wednesday 9th May, 2018.