“I want to clarify what we know about the national carrier and AMCON. We by virtue of debts owed by Aero contractors to various banks became 60 per cent owners of Aero contractors,” Mustafa Chike-Obi, CEO of the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) told CNBC Africa.
According to Chike-Obi, Aero contractors and other airlines were approached to be designated as the national carrier and Aero was picked after some work.
“AMCON’s concern was three fold and we wrote a letter to aero contactors on that basis. We were concerned about one, is this a good transaction for aero contractors. Two, is this a good transaction for Nigeria and three are the processes leading to this transaction transparent enough and defendable. Those are the concerns we have,”
Chike Obi is certain that the transaction was done in a completely transparent manner and that everything that happened was explained.
“This is a good transaction for the Nigerian people, and this was done in a completely transparent manner. The ownership of Areo contractors will continue to be 60 per cent AMCON and forty per cent legacy shareholders,”
While some believed that the federal government was buying shares or putting money into the national carrier, he made it clear that this was not the case and that the transaction will benefit the Nigerian public.
“We at AMCON have on insistence on the minister of aviation, agreed that in due course we will sell our shares at 60 per cent and a lot of it to the Nigerian public,”
“We will do an IPO at some point in which our shares will be available to the Nigerian public. That was a matter of concern to the ministry of aviation and that was what made Aero more attractive to be designated as the national carrier,” he explained.
There are also plans to add to the fleet of planes the airline currently has and there are also plans to upgrade the existing fleet.
“That’s the progress we have made but what you will see will be a national carrier owned by AMCON and the legacy shareholders for a while and then the Nigerian public and the legacy shareholders after a while. And we will see better aircrafts, newer aircrafts and a more robust airline. I think it’s a win-win for everybody,” he concluded.