Staff of Arik Air expresses happiness over the takeover of the company by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria as they are hopeful their arrears of salary will soon be paid
THE Staff of the Arik Air have expressed satisfaction over the takeover of their distressed airline by the Assets Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON. Some of the staff, who talked to Realnews at the Murtala Mohammed terminal, Lagos, where the office is situated, said they had just met with the new management of Arik Air led by Capt. Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, a veretan aviation expert.
According to the staff, Arik, which is now under the receivership of Oluseye Opasanya, SAN, has been owing them arrears of salary. The amount owed different cadres of staff varies from three months to five months.
“We are just returning from the meeting with the new management. We (staff) were all summoned to the meeting. The Captain assured us that all is well and that they were going to clear all the arrears of salary. We are better off with the new arrangement,” one of the officials of the company who was driving company vehicle told Realnews.
Confirming, another staff, who wishes anonymity, said that him and his colleagues were hopeful that the situation of the company would improve under the new management, stressing that they were already tired with the chicanery of the old management of the company and its penchant for incurring debts.
Realnews had previously reported that the AMCON is likely to take over the company soon. It had also published reports about the difficulties passengers have on a daily basis on all the routes Arik Air ply.
Explaining the rationale for the latest intervention in Arik Airline, Senator Hadi Sirika, minister of state for aviation, said, “We believe that this appointment is timely and will stabilise the operations of the airline. This will enhance the long term economic value of Arik Air and revitalise the airline’s ailing operations as well as sustain safety standards, in view of Arik Air’s pivotal role in the Nigerian aviation sector.”
He pledged that the ministry would support the new management of the strategic carrier added that all necessary steps have been taken to ensure that there would be no undue disruption on Arik’s regular business operations or activities of other stakeholders, on account of the recent changes in the leadership and management of Arik Airline.
The airline has been so overwhelmed to the extent that the worker’s wages are not paid for several months, leading to occasional confrontation between the management of Arik and different Aviation Unions in the country. It was Arik’s inability to pay its workers for seven months that forced the United Labour Congress, ULC, and Engineers Union to recently shut the offices of the Airline across the country causing untold hardship to thousands of travelers and an embarrassment to the aviation sector in the country.
Besides owing workers’ salaries, the Airline has also not been remitting the taxes of workers to relevant bodies thus also defrauding the country. The Airline is also in perpetual default in its lease payments and insurance premium, leading to regular and embarrassing repossession of its aircrafts by Lessors.
— Feb 9, 2017 @ 18:30 GMT