Acquire More Aircrafts For Arik, Create, Sustain Jobs, Pilots Urge AMCON

CAPTION: The leadership of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) led by Engineer Mudi Muhammad and representatives of the Management of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), led by Usman Abubakar, at the end of their meeting in Abuja…on Tuesday

The leadership of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), led by Engineer Mudi Muhammad, on Tuesday visited the Abuja head office of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), where it urged the management to continue its interventionist strategy for the survival of Arik Airline, and ignore distractions from ill-informed critics.
Specifically, Muhammad said the association visited to appeal further quick investments in the airline without which it may begin to lose some of its highly experienced pilots and engineers to some foreign competitors who are desperate to poach them. Such development, he believes will defeat the purpose of the federal government’s intervention in Arik, which would ultimately bring a bad name to AMCON after such a well-intended intervention.
Such support to help keep the airline in the skies, he said should be acquisition of more aircrafts into the fleet of Arik, and when it is done, “we want you to watch Arik dominate the aviation industry once again.
“We are making this appeal because apart from providing and sustaining jobs in the country, Arik is a great training ground for the aviation sector, which is critical to the growth of the Nigerian economy.
“As an airline, we are always careful in following the rules of engagement, and global best practices. For that professionalism, we are proud to tell the public that for over 16 years of our operational existence as Arik Air, we have zero accident record, which is a great feat, and the reason why most former presidents of Nigeria always preferred to be flown by pilots from the Arik fold. So, with AMCON investing more into the affairs of the airline by procuring additional aircraft for its operation, Arik will help both the federal government and the economy because of its strategic importance.”
He reiterated that “Arik has a strong Nigeria brand name. We therefore as members of NAATE are pleading with AMCON not to let Arik to die because of the number of unemployment the death of Arik will add to the stressed economy, and the negative ripple effect that it would create in the country.”
The call followed the alleged smear campaign mounted by the previous owners of Arik Air Limited, especially since the emergence of the country’s new administration, to pitch the public against the corporation.
Mohammad noted that irrespective of the negative narratives that are clearly designed to mislead the public who do not understand the enormity of the challenges of Arik before AMCON intervened, assuring that his association recognises the efforts of AMCON in Arik, especially the huge investment, giant strides in both the airline and the nation’s financial system stability.
Such intervention, according to Mohammad, who was accompanied by other senior officials of the association, including Ehiamere Okechi, Captain Jude Aduba and Engineer Egagah Alex, is the only viable option that will guarantee the airline’s survival.
The NAAPE Chairman, according to a statement by Jude Nwauzor, Head, Corporate Communications at AMCON said is a demonstration of the association’s “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 job. We can tell you categorically that in the last seven years of AMCON’s take over 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, staff salaries, were not forthcoming and the airline was on the verge of total collapse because of its huge debt burden.
“Indeed, AMCON has tried but Arik still has several challenges, which we want the Management of AMCON led by Mr Ahmed Lawan Kuru OFR to address through the Mr Kamilu Omokide, the Receiver/Manager who is also doing his best, based on the support he gets from AMCON.
The visitors 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.