The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has called on the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to continue to execute its interventionist strategy in Arik Air, which would ensure the survival of the troubled carrier.
A statement by Jude Nwauzor, the Spokesman for AMCON said that the leadership of NAAPE, led by Engr. Mudi Muhammad, Branch Chairman, Arik Air made the plea in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the corporation’s headquarters.
The statement hinted that Muhammed appealed to AMCON to ignore the distractions from ill-informed critics and continue to ensure the airline remained in business.
According to Nwauzor, AMCON’s intervention in the airline was the only viable option that would guarantee Arik’s survival.
The statement said: “We are here (AMCON) today as an association to demonstrate our support to AMCON because as insiders, we understand the big contribution AMCON made to ensure that Arik did not die.
“If AMCON had not stepped in at the time they did, Arik would have ceased to exist a long time ago to join the growing list of airlines in the burial ground of Nigeria’s aviation industry.
“As NAAPE, we know AMCON’s intervention in Arik about seven years ago was to protect the airline and save hundreds of us from losing our jobs. We can tell you categorically that in the last seven years of AMCON’s takeover of Arik, the airline has stood the test of time.
“So, we totally understand that Arik survived because of AMCON unlike what some people wanted us to believe at the time. Before AMCON stepped into Arik, pensions, allowances, and staff salaries, were not forthcoming and the airline was on the verge of total collapse because of its huge debt burden.”
The association, however, said that despite AMCON’s intervention, the airline was still faced with myriads of challenges, which it wanted the corporation to address through Mr. Kamilu Omokide, the Receiver/Manager, Arik Air.
NAAPE also tasked AMCON to support the airline to beef up its operations through the acquisition of more aircraft, stressing that the airline apart from providing and sustaining jobs in the country, was still a training ground for the aviation sector.
He expressed delight that despite the over 16 years of operation, the airline was yet to witness any fatal accident, noting that with more investments, the airline would help the Federal Government to grow the economy.
He regretted that the airline had lost some of its experienced pilots, engineers and other technical personnel to its competitors in Nigeria and abroad in recent times due to inadequate capacity.
He bemoaned that the continuous poaching of its professionals would defeat the purpose of the government’s intervention in the airline.
Mohammad was accompanied to AMCON by other senior officials of the association including Ehiamere Okechi, Captain Jude Aduba and Engineer Egagah Alex.
They were received on behalf of the Management of AMCON by the duo of Mr Usman Abubakar and Mr. Tinus Osikoya, AMCON’s Head of Specialised Asset Enforcement and Head of Operations, respectively.
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