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Arik Air resumes flight operations | Claims it paid N18.9 billion and not N11.5 billion to FAAN

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Arik AirArik Air on Thursday claimed that it had paid a total sum of N18.9 billion to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) from January 2007 till date.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Managing Director of Arik Air, Chris Ndulue, made the claim while briefing aviation correspondents in Lagos.

NAN reports that the airline’s operations at the Murtala Muhammed Airport were disrupted on Wednesday by aviation unions and some FAAN workers, over its alleged N12.5 billion indebtedness to the agency.

However, Ndulue, while apologising to the airline’s passengers for the inconveniences caused by the development, confirmed that Arik Air had resumed both domestic and international operations.

He noted that it was very strange that while the airline’s records showed the payment of N18.9 billion, FAAN claimed that it received only N11.4 billion.

According to him, every efforts have been made over the years to reconcile the disputed figures, including the setting up of a ministerial committee by the former Permanent Secretary of the aviation ministry, Binta Bello.

Ndulue said while the committee was still trying to resolve the issue, FAAN instituted a suit against the airline in October 2015 at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

He said FAAN again informed the court on Feb.3, 2016 that parties should be allowed to explore an amicable resolution to the dispute by appointing an independent auditor, to reconcile the figures.

“So the issue of whether Arik Air is indebted or not to FAAN has been put before a competent court in a suit initiated by the agency. For FAAN to resort to self-help or by its staff is an affront on the Federal High Court and the Nigerian State. A situation whereby staff of FAAN and union members turn themselves into debt collection agents, on behalf of the Federal Government is absurd,” Ndulue said.

Also speaking, the Chairman of Arik Air, Arumemi Ikhide, confirmed that the airline’s management had met with the Minister of State for Aviation, Capt. Hadi Sirika, over the unions’ action.

“We are prepared and want to pay for services rendered, but we will not be bullied. What happened yesterday (Wednesday) is not good for the image of the country,” he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.

1 Comment

  1. stefini

    April 22, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    blah blah blah!!!!!!! all i can say is arik should have done the right thing to pay their debt long before now…does faan have to stop your operations before the ogas at the top situp and do what has been pending?why should they even owe that much considering how much they generate daily!

    looking at it now the amount they will pay passenger claims for not flying will also cost them more for just that day their operations was shutdown.

    Na wah!

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