Concerns have been expressed and mounted over one of Nigeria’s major airliner, Arik Air as stakeholders in the aviation industry have said that the airline might find it difficult to operate due to the financial issues the company is facing.
According to a reliable source who spoke to ThisDay, the management of the airline was finding it difficult to keep aircraft in the air due to its inability to maintain most of the fleet it inherited. The management has also been accused of misappropriating funds while also deploying lean resources to lease aircraft and engines.
More details: In addition to what the first source said, another reliable source who did not want his name mentioned accused the management of lack of prudence, while alleging that it bought landing gear and other aircraft parts at very expensive prices in connivance with management officials, when there are other reliable sources where these spares could be bought at cheaper prices.
The anonymous individual explained that since the airline was taken over on February 9, 2017, by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Arik Air had not been able to keep up to 10 aircraft operational.
“Despite the fact that the new management has over 16 aircraft at its behest, it has not been able to carry out maintenance on many of them; rather, it has secured two Bombardier CRJ 900 from a Tunisian airline on wet-lease agreement and it has been looking to lease more aircraft from unwilling lessors.
“Arik has lost about 40 per cent of its 3,000 staff, closed some local destinations, stopped all its international destinations: London, Johannesburg and New York and is alleged to be currently facing cash crunch and may not be bailed by AMCON, which is a subsidiary of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” the source said.
AMCON’s response: Jude Nwauzor, spokesperson of AMCON while responding to the allegation described it as false. He denied that the airline might go under while also stating that the management of the airline was not facing any financial issue. On the report that the airline had made attempts to lease aircraft, a Boeing 737 Classic, Nwauzor said it was not true that the airline did not try to lease any aircraft.
“This claim is completely false. Arik was at the air show to discuss new planes and the future of Arik with important stakeholders. We have two running wet leases and have others being considered for approval. You do not go to air show to seek wet leases.
“The source of this information is uninformed. We have several unsolicited wet lease offers. We carefully check to see what will be appropriate for the company. However, as an airline, we face challenges in the international space because the airline has been battered by years of wanton defaults on agreed obligations to reputable third parties like Lufthansa, AFREXIM, Amadeus, KLM, EDC, etc.
“We have fixed some of these relationships and the impact will be felt in 2020. We are current on all new obligations and enjoy the respect of counter parties we do business with. We are quite proud of this,” Nwauzor said.
Arik Air under AMCON: As reported by Nairametrics, the business started picking up in Arik Air after the appointment of the Receiver Manager and new management team. Before AMCON’s intervention, the On-time Performance (OTP) had fallen to 19%, but after the takeover, the OTP climbed up steadily and currently averages 63.5%, while cancellations, which were as high as 40% as at January 2017, has been significantly reduced to less than 4%. Average load factor is currently over 73% whilst aircraft utilization has also increased by about 50%.
Customers to win salary-4-life, business grants, rent advance and cash rewards in Diamondxtra quarterly draw
The DiamondXtra Reward Scheme is the most rewarding way to save.
Leading retail bank in Nigeria, Access Bank Plc is set to reward more than 1,000 DiamondXtra customers with various grants and cash prizes in the second DiamondXtra quarterly draw of Season 12 scheduled to hold on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.
According to Adaeze Umeh, Head, Consumer Banking, Access Bank Plc, “We are gearing up for the DiamondXtra quarterly draw this month and we will be rewarding more than 1,000 lucky customers with various cash prizes, business grants, family health insurance, rent advance and other exciting rewards. It is the bank’s little way of rewarding its loyal customers and creating more value to meet customer needs during these trying times. We rewarded ten customers last month with N1million each at the monthly draw and we are here again to reward more customers in the quarterly draw.”
To join the winning train, all you need to do is keep saving if you have a DiamondXtra account already. “If you don’t have an existing account, simply dial *901*5# to open a DiamondXtra account with just N5, 000 and save multiples of ₦5,000 to increase your chances of winning,” Adaeze told newsmen in Lagos.
Some of the DiamondXtra rewards for the quarterly draw include:
- Salary4Life (N100,000 every month for 20 Years)
- Rent for a Year for 21 lucky customers
- One Year Family health coverage for 7 lucky customers
- N1Million business grant for 6 lucky customers
- ₦500,000 for 15 lucky customers
- ₦100,000 for 45 lucky customers
- ₦50,000 for 300 lucky customers
- ₦20,000 for 300 lucky customers
- ₦10,000 for 300 lucky customers
The DiamondXtra Reward Scheme is the most rewarding way to save, don’t miss out on this opportunity to become a millionaire or a star prize winner. To participate; simply open a DiamondXtra account, save in multiples of ₦5,000 and you stand the chance to win amazing prizes in the quarterly draw this month.
FG bars aides of VIPs from airport terminals, to grant loans to airlines, others at 5%
The minister insisted that face masks must be worn at all times inside the airport and airplane.
The Federal Government has barred all non-travelling aides of public office holders and very important personalities (VIPs) from gaining access into the Airport terminal.
This is part of the measure and aviation protocol designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease and ensure safety of the passengers and workers in the aviation sector.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, during Monday’s briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
Sirika said that this measure applies especially to Governors, Ministers, National Assembly Members, Judicial officers and Military officers as the practice of having their Personal Assistants and Special Assistants, who they insist on seeing them off up to the aircraft though not travelling with them, would be stopped.
The Aviation Minister in his statement said, ‘’Henceforth, all VIPs will no longer be permitted to bring non-travelling aides into the Airport Terminals. This especially applies to Governors, Ministers, NASS members, Judiciary and Military officers.’’
While speaking on the new procedures during this COVID-19 era, the minister said that mandatory temperature and symptoms checks will be carried out at the airport terminals and frequent washing of hands should be done at the airports. He also said that face masks must be worn at all times inside the airport and airplane and anyone who does not do that will not be allowed inside the airport terminals.
He pointed out that physical distancing will be maintained at all times just as unruly passengers will not be allowed to board the aircrafts or fly as no pilot will be allowed to fly a plane carrying an unruly passenger.
He revealed that the processes of compression, heating, cooling and filtration that aircraft cabin air is subjected to, takes out 99.9% of all organisms including viruses etc. that’s why cabin air is safer than most other environments.
The aviation minister also stated that operators in the aviation sector including airlines, ground handling firms and others, will be given loan at 5% interest rate with effect from 2021. He, however, noted that the modalities for the loan is being worked out with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning
It can be recalled that Sirika stated this in an interactive session with the senate committee on Aviation where he said that any VIP coming into the airport this time around as a personality, minister or even members of the national assembly will not be carrying their aides into the airports anymore.
Vodacom Nigeria gets new MD
Vodacom Business is a leading pan-African telecommunications provider wholly-owned by the Vodacom Group.
Vodacom Business (Nigeria) Limited has appointed Mr Valentine Chime as the Managing Director of its operations. According to a statement from the company on Monday, the appointment is at the instance of the board of directors.
He will now drive the company’s vision of becoming Africa’s leading cloud and digital service provider, the statement read.
Prior to this appointment, Valentine Chime was with Aruwa Capital, a private equity company investing across West Africa. He also worked at Kaizen Venture Partners, a private equity company focused on distressed assets. He has held various C-suite positions in a number of portfolio companies in different sectors.
Chime expressed his enthusiasm to take up the position and challenge of building the Vodacom brand in the country. He said:
“Vodacom Business Africa (Nigeria) Limited is well-known and very respected in the industry, and I look forward to taking up this mission.
“Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation, and we are perfectly positioned to deliver intelligent connectivity through seamless delivery of cloud and digital services and technologies to our clients.”
Vodacom Business is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Vodacom Group, and a leading pan-African telecommunications provider that came into Africa since 1992.