Arik Air and Aero Contractors, among other assets, will be sold off before 2024, the Managing Director of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Ahmed Kuru, has said.

Lawan Ahmed Kuru, Managing Director of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)
Lawan Ahmed Kuru, Managing Director of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)

In a statement issued by Jude Nwauzor, AMCON’s Head of Corporate Communications, Kuru said it was anticipating an exit earlier, should owners of the airlines pay up their debts. But as it were, the agency’s mandate is total control and backed by the law till 2023/24, after which it would be renewed.

“I want you to understand that we are sitting on a substantial amount of assets, which we must one way or the other resolve on or before our sunset, which is around 2023/24.

“As I said earlier, we will deal with some of those key assets very soon like the Peugeot Nigeria Limited in Kaduna, CDL, Aero Contractors, Arik Air and a host of others.

“But I must tell you, as we close in on these individuals and entities that owe us, I want you to know that they will call us names, blackmail, threaten, malign and harass us.

“However, I can tell you that hard as they will try, we will not be deterred in going about our normal duties as mandated by law,” Kuru was quoted in the statement.

According to the statement, the corporation sold out Keystone Bank to new investors for N41 billion to boost its performance in 2017, and slice down the amount of debts owed it.

AMCON said it had to deal with increasing cost of operations majorly driven by an unstable price of aviation fuel and overhead expenses for the two airlines it took over, a suggestive reason why the corporation wants to sell the airlines.

The corporation added that it acquired 12,537 non-performing loans (NPLs) worth N1.7 trillion from 22 financial institutions, after the 2009 banking crisis, and would pursue every obligor, especially the 350 debtors who account for almost 80% of the debts without sparing anyone.