UPDATE: Nigerian govt. takes over distressed Arik airlines, appoints new management

Arik Airline
Arik Airline

The Federal Government on Thursday took over Arik Airlines and announced the appointment of a new management in a bid to save the country’s aviation industry from total collapse.

Under the new arrangement, Roy Ilegbodu, a veteran aviation expert, has been named to take over the management of the airline under the receivership of Oluseye Opasanya, a senior advocate of Nigeria.

Besides, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, said the government would give a lifeline to support the financially-distressed Arik Airlines continue as a going concern in the aviation industry.

AMCON spokesperson, Jude Nwauzor, said the government’s decision to intervene clearly underscores a commitment to instill sanity in the country’ aviation sector to prevent a major catastrophe in the country.

“The development will afford Arik Airlines, which is the largest local carrier in the country, to go back to regular and undisrupted operations, avoid job losses, protect investors and stakeholder funds as well as ensure safety and stability in the already challenged aviation sector,” Mr. Nwauzor said.

Arik, which controls about 55 per cent of the country’s passenger traffic, has for some time faced threat of liquidation as a result of heavy financial debt burden, weak corporate governance, operational difficulties, bad management and inability to pay staff regularly.

Apart from backlog of accumulated staff salaries, AMCON said the airline has the most demotivated workforce in the sector, while being in constant default in its lease payments and insurance, resulting in aircraft getting confiscated by lessors.

Besides, the airline has been operating extremely erratic schedules not good for a strategic carrier, with its flights routinely either delayed or cancelled without explanations to customers.

Other corporate issues, which have eroded Arik brand reputation include negligence of operational regulations, luggage pilfering or outright disappearances, poor corporate governance, and disregard for safety procedures.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the government’s decision to take over the management of Arik Airlines would stabilise its operations, enhance its long term economic value, revitalise its ailing operations, and sustain safety standards, in view of its pivotal role in the Nigerian aviation sector.

The Minister pledged the support of the Federal Ministry of Aviation for the new management to make Arik remain a strategic carrier, saying the intervention was in the best interest of the general public, workers, creditors and other aviation interest groups.

“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 minister said.

Meanwhile, the new management of the airline has assured both the staff and other interest groups that it would work to add value to its operations, improve customer experience, and sustain the safety, reliable and secure operational history it was known.

Prior to the takeover, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, stormed the head office of the airline, to meet with its Chairman, Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide.


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  • dami

    So no job losses (for now) and salary arrears will be paid…?

  • Ifeanyi

    Hopefully this will help them to refund for cancelled flights?

    • Iskacountryman

      with an eboe man in charge…you must be dreaming…

  • new republic

    No more govt money to run the airline like before,no real businessman in Ngeria,all depend on collective patrimony.DARIS GOD OOOOOOOO.

  • Emem Umoetuk

    Very good decision provided government stays completely away from running the day to day business of the company. Nigerian government officials are the cancer that engulfs any business enterprise they get involve in. Remember what happened to Nigeria Airways?

  • emmanuel

    The evil that men do leave with them. Let us lift the veil on Arik and see the one who has written letters and pretended to Love Nigeria.
    When they all queued behind Buhari because they were angry at revocation of certain PPP arrangement, they never knew the worse was yet to come.
    As of today, almost all their investments have gone into the proverbial waters.
    Sai baba, sai depression, sai outcome of mal-governance. Many more businesses to follow.
    We sef don suffer am well well, everyone must pay for the indiscretion of bringing in Buhari or refusing to stop it.

    • Patrick Omokagbo

      Arik was distressed before this government came to power.The transition team recommended take over by gov’t.Irresponsible.

      • emmanuel

        How does your reponse relate to my post?

  • Uche O. Kalu

    OGA EDITOR,

    I no know book O. I just want to ask few questions because this thing is not looking normal

    I am selling spare parts in Abuja. I am distressed too, because of 500 Naira to one dollar. But AMCON has never come to my shop to throw money at me anyhow and say they are taking over my own debts to pay it for me. I am now asking if AMCON is supposed to go to ARIK AIRLINE by itself and help the owners of the airline with taxpayers money to pay all the debts of Arik Air? Is it not when a bank has grabbed Arik Air to seize the plane that AMCON is supposed to do meeting with the bank and Arik Air together to take over the Arik bank debt? Why go to Arik Air on your own and help them pay all their debts with taxpayers money? How about my own shop, when is AMCON coming there to pay Koean people all the money I am still owing them for spare parts imports?

    • Dee Law

      @DeepSpace2000:disqus,

      I AM MYSELF NOT AWARE OF THE LAW AUTHORIZING THIS SORT OF BAIL-OUT.

      IT LOOKS MORE LIKE STATE-SPONSORED CORRUPTION THAN RECEIVERSHIP.

      • Cry Nigeria!!!!

        @DeepSpace2000:disqus

        General Olusegun Obasanjo was accused
        accused but denied having shares in Arik Airline. This unsolicited bail-out
        suggests there is more than meet the eye in Arik Airlines because no
        responsible or accountable government goes showering public funds on private
        enterprises like this unless those who own Arik Airlines have the same or
        higher military status or regional or Islamist ties to the hardly accountable
        Buhari regime. It is urgent to probe the Buhari regime before it is too late.

        • OJERINDE, Olatunde A.

          I assume your logic means, Obasanjo was the owner of the banks that were bailed out then as well. Maybe he owns the states that were bailed out too. Hmmmmmm< Obasanjo must be dead powerful.

          • Femi O. Awobadero

            @ojerindeolatundea:disqus

            My understanding of what he wrote is that those who own Arik Airlines must be connected
            military or northern elites to get bail-out funds from AMCON without a court order putting
            Arik Airlines in receivership at the instance of a creditor ban. That’s my understanding.

          • Extee2000

            THIS STORY IS NOT ABOUT OBASANJO. WE DO NOT KNOW WHO OWNS ARIK AIR.
            IF THE CREDITOR BANKS OF ARIK HAD SUED TO COURT, WE WOULD HAVE KNOWN.

          • Iskacountryman

            a court order?…during buharis regime is as worthless as his school certificate…

      • tundemash

        Mor0n, it is a TAKE-OVER. Who is to blame for your ignorance ?

        • emmanuel

          Mumu is back. He has been calling sai baba name with other moniker. shameless maga

      • F. Fidelis

        Documents were late last year leaked to Punch newspaper showing that Muhamadu Buhari was
        actually blowing away the funds in the treasury in the five [5] months he refused to appoint
        federal Ministers; between May 29th 2015 and September 30th 2015. Muhamadu Buhari

        was the sole approving authority at all the relevant times. Punch has since reported it.

        The Senate was then alerted and has decided to probe these dubious billion Naira payments.

        In one instance, and within 60 days of taking office as president, Muhamadu Buhari gave
        Brigadier Buba Marwa one billion Naira in two installments in July 2015. These huge

        payments cannot be justified and Buhari government has refused to explain itself.

        • Questo

          Let us wait for Senate probe to start. We are not fools to allow somebody carry away
          a whole one billion Naira, as if his father owns Central Bank of Nigeria. Let the probe
          start and let Buba Marwa come and say why he should carry away one billion Naira.

      • breakin’ news

        Breaking News:
        ……………………

        The Naira fell to 510 Naira to a dollar
        today at the street market rate. Nigeria’s economic recession is bound
        to worsen. All transactions denied official forex rate of 300 Naira by the
        Central Bank shall now need more Naira to stay in business. Street traders
        forecast the rate could fall further by tomorrow. Banks in Nigeria are
        themselves running out of dollars and haven’t adequate supply to pay
        Domiciliary Account holders who visit the bank to withdraw.

        • FIDELIS

          @DeepSpace2000:disqus

          Documents were late last year leaked to Punch newspaper showing that Muhamadu Buhari
          was actually blowing away the funds in the treasury in the five [5] months he refused to
          appoint federal Ministers; between May 29th 2015 and September 30th 2015.
          Muhamadu Buhari was the sole approving authority at all the relevant times.
          Punch has since reported this brewing financial scandal.

          The Senate was then alerted and has decided to probe these dubious billion Naira payments.
          In one instance, and within 60 days of taking office as president, Muhamadu Buhari gave
          Brigadier Buba Marwa one billion Naira in two installments in July 2015. These huge
          payments cannot be justified and Buhari government has refused to explain itself.

          • Iyalaya Anybody

            BUHARI IS A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER BOTH FOR IGNORANCE AND FOLLY.

            BUHARI DOES NOT READ AND SO HE DOES NOT KNOW THAT HE DOES NOT KNOW.

          • Foreign Bulletin

            “Despite the denial of rumours that there is pressure on
            Vice Prsident Osinbajo, a southwesterner, to resign, the meeting of northern
            governors with the National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and Chief of Army
            Staff Tukur Buratai has raised eyebrows. With the Nigerian currency naira
            falling to an all-time low, companies folding, and the cost of living on the
            rise, there were protests against Buhari’s government across the country on
            February 6. There was no news from Buhari and his vice president could not be
            held wholly accountable. In his absence, the hawks will be hovering over
            Osinbajo, and the behind-the-scenes power play won’t result in any meaningful
            national development. Buhari must spare Nigeria the political heartbreak of
            governance by an absentee president”.

            ……..Fisayo Soyombo

            (February 9th, 2017)

          • Iskacountryman

            buhari spoke on bbc hausa service yesterday…

          • Otile

            From the morgue?

          • Iskacountryman

            sharrap…

          • Otile

            sharrap nothing, did buhari speak on BBC Hausa Service yesterday from the morgue?

          • Iskacountryman

            buhari is alive, hale and hearty…

          • Concerned

            Please understand the facts – there is no lacuna Osibajo is the defacto and de jure acting president
            All this talk is just hot air

          • Iskacountryman

            but he knows what he thinks he knows…

          • Questo

            Ol’ Boy,

            Let us wait for Senate probe to start. We are not fools to allow somebody carry away
            a whole one billion Naira, as if his father owns Central Bank of Nigeria. Let the probe
            start and let Buba Marwa come and say why he should carry away one billion Naira.

        • Iskacountryman

          that is what we are talking about…1000 to 1, around the corner…buhari don run go hide…

          • Koku

            ……..Genocide preacher….we say we are dying already…..you say 1000 to one dollar!…..

          • Iskacountryman

            wetin kill you…monkey head…are dollars legal tender in nigeria?…please go and kidnap your rich uncle…

      • OJERINDE, Olatunde A.

        You are not aware is not the same as it is not right. Your awareness or otherwise is personal. Just do a lil research to learn more. Thanks.

    • Iskacountryman

      nyamiri…please apply to the bank of biafra…

      • Otile

        bokoboy…Are you going to apply to the Islamic Bank of Somalia?

        • yukkmouff

          Hahahaha! Nice one.

        • Iskacountryman

          we have a muslim bank in nigeria that gives out interest free loans…

          • Otile

            Interest free loan my foot, that is how you lure young ladies to sleep with.

          • Iskacountryman

            how is kanu?

          • Iskacountryman

            like miss anambra?

  • FuzzyLogic

    Why should Nigeria’s tax payers be burdened by a crumbling private airline? Nigeria could not run Nigeria Airways that had better chance at survival, is it this decrepit Arik airline that it could run? A broken down Arik aircraft is the first object on the ground that welcomes any international traveler at the MM International Airport, Lagos. Just like on public roads, the authorities will not remove that broken down aircraft from that dangerous place until another aircraft collides with it.
    Breaking news; another report stated that the government has already provided a lifeline to the Airline. This is simply rewarding bad management and that money will in all likelihood be money flushed down the toilet. There are so many failing businesses in Nigeria, why has the government not taken those over and infused them with cash lifeline? This is another demonstration of the Nigerian government deciding winners and losers in the private sector. No wonder the country in such a funk.

    • Black Pope

      Bail out is normal from responsible governments to save job losses.. USA through obama did same thing some years back

      • OJERINDE, Olatunde A.

        In fact Obama did with almost $1 trillion, $787billion I think.

  • javscong javscong

    Who is this Roy Ilegbodu, a supposed “aviation veteran”? If the government is going to put tax payers money into this airline, the public must have a say in who they are putting there to run it. I am fed up of hearing of “experts” and “veterans” who have no clue about how 21st century airlines are run in a globalised economy. Why did Nigeria Airways collapse? It did because we kept sending Air force men, some of whom had absolutely no clue about aviation management, Grp. Capt. Banfa was a good example, to go and run a commercial airline. Unless the right people are deployed to Arik, I am afraid it will same result…….failure.

  • Ola

    This takeover is not unusual and it is one of the reasons why we have AMCON.

    My hope is Chairman, Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide will be not get away with the financial mismanagement of Arik Airlines despite all the intervention by the government that has gone down the drain. Ararume was living large and deceiving people

    It is rather unfortunate that greed , ego , nepotism, fraud , deceit and political patronage personified by Ararume killed this company. He should not get away with it.

    • kris

      God bless you!

  • Rommel

    Yet they said there is no government in place

    • 100%Black

      THAT “government in place” collapsed the airline ab initio through it’s bad economic policies

      • OGK

        How has the government collapsed the airline which was purely a private concern. Stop this your ‘facebook’ analysis and stop confusing Nigerians

      • Rommel

        We are only allowed to discuss facts not opinions and since your rants are not backed by facts,we got nothing more to talk about

        • 100%Black

          lol… see person wey dey discuss facts. HYPOCRITES

    • thusspokez

      With gullible followers like you, the government must see you as a godsend who will nod to every statement and gesture from the government.

    • yukkmouff

      You’re truly a f@*king clod!

  • thusspokez

    AMCON spokesperson, Jude Nwauzor, said the government’s decision to intervene clearly underscores a commitment to instill sanity in the country’ aviation sector to prevent a major catastrophe in the country.

    Wake up Nigerians. Don’t believe a word of the government lies.

    Ask yourself, who are the investors in Arik Airlines? Among them are the big bad embezzlers like Peter Odili. This is not about instilling sanity but to provide cushion to the embezzler investors who are about to lose their money if Arik goes bankrupt.

    Nigerians, first, they stole your money and used it to make bad investments; and when they are about to lose their investments, your money or public fund is once upon used to rescue the money they stole from you.

    • Heavy D

      Do you know what it means for a Company to be in RECEIVERSHIP? Knowing the meaning of this word will helo you to understand the Government’s take over of Arik.

      • thusspokez

        Actually the airline is under administration and not receivership. Read the report again and then look up the difference between Administration and Receivership.

    • Iskacountryman

      that is why, you are you, and they are them…man pass man…

    • Gbenga Oloms

      @thusspokez:disqus

      The Buhari government is doing things that look like corruption. He is giving bail out to his own friends
      and kinsmen. He does not care that Nigerians are committing suicide because they cannot cope with
      economic recession Buhari imposed on their heads like a big curse.

      Nigerians are suffering so much, more than at any time in history. The Buhari government is the worst
      government in the history of Nigeria. Nothing good, everything spoilt, and worse. The Senate can help
      Nigerians to amend the constitution so that we can do a new election.

      We can promise that we will never repeat the same mistake we made in 2015. We will never listen to
      those useless leaders who lied to us that Muhamadu Buhari has Master’s degree. We now see our mistake.
      We now know that Buhari is only a Primary Six graduate. We want fresh election now!

      • Tunsj

        What is wrong with saving hundreds of jobs? What’s your own qualification? Your post sounds like it was drug-induced.

        • thusspokez

          Given how this mediocre government is running the country, particularly, the economy, do you seriously think that it could run this business better that the company’s former executives?

      • thusspokez

        I feel your pain but I warned people so in 2015.

        • emmanuel

          Am i dreaming? Were you not one of the attck machines who treated the wailing wailers to a macabre dance up until December 2016?
          My memory is failing me. Please forgive me if i am wrong.
          Otile, Omoba Arafidiya etc, please bail me out if you are around

          • thusspokez

            Were you not one of the attck machines who treated the wailing wailers to a macabre dance up until December 2016?

            Sadly, that is the problem with many of you who can neither read properly nor understand simple English language.

            You read a poster’s comments and think that you can deduce the poster’s ethnicity, religion, gender, political party, academic qualifications, social class, where they reside etc. This is the hallmark of a first-class mumu. I ignore and stop responding to such mumus.

            I would imagine that some of my comments are too deep for some of you to understand. You would need to be highly educated and intelligent to understand my analysis and comments.

            As someone who doesn’t think highly of Nigerian politicians and indeed even despise them, I find it rather offensive that anyone should call me their supporter. Indeed the first-class illiterates and mµmµs among you who hang around these aforementioned websites have a habit of claiming that I am Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa/Fulani, supporter of GEJ, supporter of Buhari, and even a southern Sudan migrant — as you call me. What a bunch of føøls some of you are.

            Anyway, I suggest that you go and find my comments on the vanguard, saharareporters and premiumtimes websites in 2014/2015, especially during the presidential campaign and read my analysis then and compare them to the current Nigerian affairs and you will think that I am a clairvoyant.

          • Otile

            My brother, see him as he is – a two-faced traitor. He changes him mind depending on which way the cat jumps. One by one they will all disown Buhari and his bungling government.

    • Otile

      God forbid. You have no concept of basic economics. Do you understand what receivership means? You just heard Igbo name Jude Nwauzor, then you wrongly connected to another Igbo enemy Peter Odili, then you went crazy without understanding what the government is trying to do. Hatred will kill you. Traitor

    • emmanuel

      Odili ke?
      You sure knows who the masquerade is. He wanted to take over GATT, after securing Nigeria Airways Assets and MM2.
      You Southern Sudan migrant, you will not change your skin colour, must you act true to type?

  • real

    it is very important that government put someone that is capable of making the right change and move the airline forward. The government needs to also look at what it is doing to make the aviation sector expensive. for example, the regulator require the airline to perform more maintenance than required. The government lack of investment in maintenance facility, fuel and facility.

  • danie

    death now

  • Mamman Bako

    Power-drunk Hadi has now gotten his TROPHY! This can only happen in Nigeria.

  • Edward akinlade

    Amcon can’t run a airline , aero was a test case. Arik will be run down . What the company need was Good FX and equity investments . Only the owners can run business in Nigeria .

  • Wolexit 2017

    @mammanbako:disqus: All said and done those who
    enabled Muhamadu Buhari to power – including Sanusi Lamido, Bola Tinubu
    and General Olusegun Obasanjo
    – have lost a right to be heard in Nigeria
    for their own almost senseless judgment, because anyone who determines that a
    primary six certificate holder is best for Nigeria can never come out again in the
    public and expect to be trusted as sensible. Things are falling apart.

  • ECCLESSISTICA

    Strange things seldom cease to happen in Nigeria. How can a so called Government that itself needs to be taken over be the one taking over a distressed company? Is Arik Air more distressed that the Nigerian state?

    • samuel okolo

      TRY AND CONDUCT A RESEARCH BEFORE YOU MAKE NONSENCE COMMENT . DONT YOU KNOW THAT ARIK OWN STAFFS UP TO 6 MONTHS BEFORE? DON’T YOU KNOW THAT ARIK HAS FAIL TO FULFIL MOST OF ITS SCHEDULE FLIGHT SINCE NOVEMBER TILL DATE? YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT IT IS RIGHT FOR GOVT. TO TAKE OVER TO SAVE THE COMPANY FROM TOTAL COLAPTION.

  • Pete

    …did you at all consider juxtaposing the distress level of Arik and the Nigerian state before the thanksgiving? Can the blind lead the blind? What will happen will be exactly what that crook called Obasanjo did with companies during his wasted 8 years as your president.

  • Okokondem

    Without getting down to the minutiae of micro economics, as it relates to the meaning or definition of RECEIVERSHIP, let us first address the irony of Nigerian government that ran its own national airline aground believing it can save a distressed airline.

    When I come here, to this forum, expecting to find thoughtful, well reasoned dialog by adults concerning the affairs of our country, but instead people get bogged down with semantics. What does it matter frankly whether the word receivership is or isn’t in this article. The bottom line is Nigeria cannot salvage the distressed airline because that’s not what she does. What Nigeria (government) does is specialize in creative ways to steal from the people.

  • Comfortkay

    Is that a new plan to make arik airline a new Nigerian Airways called elephant power?

    • emmanuel

      Arik was proceeds of Nigeria Airways and Several Power project monies stolen by a a shameless masquerade. Nothing spoil if Nigeria takes it back.
      Several Nigerians were sacrificed in Air crashes.
      That notwithstanding, the restructuring is on-going, Medview is getting all the support as toke for helping cripple PDP (All his past theft cases have been erased), He got listed in the Capital market this week. Thanks to blind people who boxed themselves into the hand of an avenger

  • thusspokez

    Mumu dude, the airline is under administration and not receivership!

  • Okokondem

    Nigerians lack the will to confront their albatross, corruption. You often here them invoke Devine intervention as the only salvation or solution to the problems facing the country.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m a believer in God and His infinite powers and wisdom. But it is frankly disingenuous and lazy to think that we as Nigerians do not have a responsibility in confronting this albatross beyond our fascination with social media, complaining and pointing fingers at one another.

    Other societies around the world have leveraged the tools social media has to offer to advance their causes and let their detractors, their oppressors, in this case our government know, to know they are not going to take it anymore. The system is not working anyway, so what do we have to loose by bringing it to a halt through civil disobedience of course. There need not be any violence just the good old peaceful demonstration to shake things up. It works in most places. It might work in our case but we may never know until we try.

    But it will take a unity of purpose for it to work. There cannot be I’m Igbo, or Yoruba, or Hausa, or Ijaw, etc. We must collectively agree that corruption is just that no matter who committed it. Embezzlement is just that irrespective of the perpetrators.

    Otherwise, we should stop gathering in these different social media platforms debating against one another rather than acknowledge what the albatross is and who or what is responsible for it.

    That’s my piece.

  • Michael

    Useless airline. Should be liquidated, and the planes melted into scrap metal and sold off. I do not know what took AMCON so long? Typical slowness of Nigerians to be pro-active.

  • Impulse400

    Clap for Nigeria for taking over a dead airline. I wonder when she will apply the same zeal to her own responsibilities and take over agriculture and feed her children.

    I am beginning to wonder whether Nigeria belongs to we ordinary Nigerians or bankers, because I don’t see the significance of an aeroplane to the woman who will use N500 Kerosine to cook N80 noodles or one derica of rice at N250.

    The Naira is falling, AMCON cannot catch that one. But airline that took billions in loans for selfish profit, which 90% of Nigerians don’t even know exists or cares if they do, Nigeria took over it.

    Now, when AMCON finishes performing their magic, how much of Arik money will come to Nigeria, even as a part of the budget..?

    AMCON is Nigerian only when it is capturing money. What happens to moneys captured by them becomes a PRIVATE matter.