AMCON urges FG to bail out aviation sector over COVID-19 impact

The Managing Director/CEO, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)
The Managing Director/CEO, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)

Despite having injected around N50 billion between 2012 and 2020 to stabilise the operations of the aviation sector in Nigeria, the management of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) led by Ahmed Lawan Kuru, MD/CEO on Wednesday joined industry stakeholders to call on the federal government to consider as a matter of top priority, the proposed bailout fund for the aviation industry.

The call was made by Aminu Ismail, the executive director in charge of operations at AMCON at a virtual webinar meeting, which was themed “Flying into Turbulent Skies, Safely Navigating COVID-19 Headwinds: Survival Strategies for Nigerian Aviation,” .

In a statement, Ismail said AMCON’s intervention led to the purchase of about US$1 billion Non-Performing Loans (NPL’s) from Nigerian banks owed by major Nigerian airlines including Aero Contractors, Arik Air amongst others.

Although the aviation sector accounts for around 8% of AMCON’s restructuring portfolio, Ismail explained that the AMCON’s actions in restructuring the loans of airline operators protected a critical sector of the economy for Nigeria.

Given the critical nature of the essential services rendered to the economy by the sector, he explained that the intervention objective of the government recovery agency was to stabilize the operations of the airlines rather than realize the assets of the airlines in settlement of their outstanding debt.

In the process, he stated that the huge cash flow, which is needed to run the sector effectively and efficiently, additional loan was further advanced for the purpose of providing support towards growth of the airlines, fleet expansion, job retention and job creation.

Ismail was one of the panelists at an aviation webinar organised by Aelex Group in collaboration with SY&T Commun. Also featured are other industry experts such as Mr. Bismarck Rewane, the CEO, Financial Derivatives; Mr. Ado Sanusi the CEO of Aero Contractors; Mr. Chris Aligbe, CEO, Belujane Konzult and Capt. Dapo Olamide, CEO, Ropeways Transport Limited. The rest include Mr. George Uriesi, CEO Ibom Air; Mr. Olumide Bolumole, Exco Member of NSE and Divitional Head, Listings Business.

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