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We are cooperating with Nigeria Customs over $40million aircraft duty waiver allegations, says Arik Air in Receivership 

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Arik Air Management under the Receivership of the Asset Management Corporation o0f Nigeria (AMCON), said on Friday that it is cooperating with officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), which is probing allegations of a $ 40 million duty waiver on one of its aircraft.
Some reports in certain platforms had given the indication that the airline management was under probe by the Customs on the vexed issue.
But, in a statement to shed light on the development, Arik Air Management in Receivership it is providing comprehensive details of the aircraft which clearly demonstrates  that there has been no misdeeds on the part of the receivership. The report alleged  misapplication of import duties and illicit sale of aircraft, by the management of Arik Air in Receivership.
The statement reads : In response to the accusations, the Arik Air under Receivership  feel compelled to clarify that duty waivers
granted to Arik  Air was before the receivership period, under the leadership of Sir Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, were not properly documented and handed over to the receivership team as required by law.The management of Arik Air under Receivership stated that it  was Sir Johnson who pledged  the affected aircraft and engines to various local and international lenders, possibly in violation of the terms of the waivers.”
 It stated that the airline’s  financial struggles with local and foreign creditors have been well-documented, including enforcement actions against assets pledged to them, which may have enjoyed waivers. But, with changing dynamics in the global aviation sector, there is no more  complete duty waiver on commercial planes. It stated that protection for  mobile equipment, such as aircraft and its engines  referred to as Cape Town Protocol and Convention  are  intended to reduce risks for creditors, and consequently,borrowing costs to debtors, through the resulting improved legal certainty.
The arrangement  promotes the granting of credit for the acquisition of more modern and thus more fuel-efficient aircraft. The intention is to give international assurance to the effect that where a debtor defaults in the payment of loans or leases over a plane, the creditor can easily take possession of the plane. Debtors, the airline management under receivership said   were required to issue an Irrevocable De-Registration and Export Request Authorisation (“IDERA”) to lenders and lessors over the pledged planes, which  is judiciously managed in Nigeria by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority.
The statement further  reads : ” It is a false claim to suggest that a lender needs to go to court to enforce its rights under the
Cape Town Convention. The public is invited to note that it it amounts to slight of hand for a borrower to issue an IDERA, enjoy a credit facility on the basis of the security conferred by the IDERA, then behind the lender, enter into another arrangement that will prevent the peaceful enjoyment of the IDERA.
“We assure the public that Arik is not party to this. It is Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide that has done everything possible to prevent lenders from taking full benefit of their IDERA. If this farce is allowed, it portends grave dangers to the Nigerian aviation industry both in terms of access to leases and international aircraft financing.
The international lending and leasing community is keenly watching this unfolding episode. Allegations of Illegal Sale of Aircraft and Aircraft Parts by the Receivership It is crucial to dispel the baseless and unfounded claims made in the report regarding the sale of aircraft and aircraft parts during the receivership period. The facts surrounding specific aircraft transactions are  clear.
The Q-400, CRJ-1000, and CRJ-900 Aircraft Arik 's involvement with Export Development Canada  in a financing transaction for the purchase of specific aircraft types. EDC is a Crown Corporation of Canada. It serves as the export bank to support the production and export of made-in-Canada goods; Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide approached Bombardier, a Canadian company, to purchase planes for his aviation business; EDC was approached to grant loans to support the purchase request.”
Providing insight into the development, the airline said EDC agreed an acceptable structure to the lending requests taking into consideration Nigeria country risks,
EDC, Arik Air in Receivership said it agreed to extend loans to an entity called JEM Leasing Limited towards meeting Arik’s equipment needs.
” The company was registered as a special purpose company in a tax haven. Arik had no shares in the company; JEM Leasing Limited purchased two Bombardier Q-400 aircraft with one spare engine the “Q400 Aircraft” and one Bombardier CRJ-1000 Aircraft. These were pledged to EDC.
“Furthermore, Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide pledged two CRJ-900 Aircraft – the “CRJ Aircraft” –  owned by JEM Air Limited. JEM Air Company was also registered as a special purpose company in a tax haven. Arik had no shares in JEM Air Limited even though it was fully responsible for paying-off the loan on the planes owned by the company. JEM Leasing Limited leased the two Bombardier Q-400 aircraft with one spare engine -the “Q400 Aircraft” – and one Bombardier CRJ-1000 Aircraft to Arik in Nigeria.  IDERAs were duly executed in favour of JEM Leasing and EDC. These were duly noted by the NCAA . Arik paid lease sums directly to EDC in settlement of the loan obligations of JEM Leasing Limited to EDC.
“Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, on behalf of Arik  -pre-receivership – approached the Federal Government of Nigeria for a waiver of customs duty on the planes.
“This was granted; Due to Arik 's financial difficulties, pre-receivership, they defaulted on the lease obligations related to the Q400 and CRJ 1000 Aircraft; Post-receivership, the receivership team, after initial struggles with meeting lease rentals on the planes, decided to exit the CRJ line of planes. It further agreed not to interfere with EDC’s mortgage rights over the CRJs.
“To come to the decision, the receivership team took into consideration the history of technical availability of the planes, the lack of capital by Arik to buy or effectively overhaul engines, and the need to reduce the complexity of Arik’s operations with several aircraft types in the fleet. An independent valuation of the planes by specialist international company was conducted; “EDC agreed to write off Arik’s outstanding lease obligations on the CRJ 1000 Aircraft owe to JEM Leasing Limited, which is under its control. Compared to their valuation, this was a good deal for Arik.

“EDC confirmed in a letter dated April 21, 2023, that they sold the two CRJ900 Aircraft. The decision to sell was made by EDC, not the receivership team of Arik; Regarding the CRJ1000 Aircraft, EDC negotiated with a buyer who chose to dismantle it into its constituent parts . It should be noted that JEM Leasing Limited, the owner of the CRJ Aircraft, confirmed in a letter dated May 5, 2023 that they sold the plane. The CRJ planes sold were not owned by Arik. The “Receiver/Manager could not have sold or passed title on assets that are not covered by his receivership; In summary, the sale of the CRJ Aircraft was a lender-led transaction. Arik only exercised its rights to exit an unprofitable lease arrangement. Thus, the assertion that the Receiver/Manager of Arik sold the aircraft is without merit. It is patently false.”

It further reads : ” The allegation that the receivership team of Arik sold the Boeing 737-700 MSN 23640 aircraft with registration number 5N-MJI (“MJI”) is also baseless. The true circumstances surrounding MJI are as follows: The MJI was flown to Lufthansa Technik’s (LHT) facility in Malta for a C-Check in 2013, which was never completed. This occurred over 4 years before the commencement of
the Arik receivership in February 2017. Over time, mainly prior to the receivership, the aircraft was cannibalized, rendering it
unserviceable. The MJI lacked engines as they had been removed by the pre-receivership management of Arik; The MJI did not possess a valid Certificate of Airworthiness, and its cabin had been stripped in preparation for the incomplete C-Check; The aircraft was abandoned in a remote dump site at the Maltese Airport, due to infrastructure development by the airport authorities.
In light of these circumstances, LHT in 2020  -seven years after the commencement of the C-check –  advised a tear down to salvage parts from the plane; “Please note that it was uneconomical to overhaul the plane. In any case, Arik lacked the capital for such a venture. There was therefore no way of flying same to Nigeria,
“The Receivership Team conducted a valuation of the plane prior to the tear down. The value was near scrap at $1.55m. Therefore, rather than lose the plane to the aircraft graveyard in Malta, the Receivership Team authorized LHT to tear down the plane and salvage parts from the aircraft, with the intention of returning value to Arik. However, LHT withheld all salvaged parts to offset substantial debts owed to them by the pre-receivership team of Arik. Arik owed LHT over $34 million; and MJI was pledged to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
“Arik is co-operating with the Nigeria Customs Service, in respect of these allegations and they are being provided with comprehensive details of the Aircraft, which will demonstrate clearly, that there has been no misdeeds on the part of the receivership.

We urge the public to disregard the sensationalized headline click-bait of $40 million duty waiver.  The duties are paid in Naira.  The use of inflated and unsubstantiated sums in newspaper headlines, particularly Sahara Reporters (SR) has been part of the strategy to tarnish the reputation of Arik Air Limited (in Receivership). The public is also advised to be wary of those who, if they cannot regain control of Arik would rather kill it.

We challenge SR to practice responsible journalism and have the courage to hear from the other side before publication.

Arik Air Limited (in Receivership) remains indebted to AMCON to the tune of over N240 billion. Together with Rockson and Ojemai Farms, all companies owned by Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, they are indebted to the tune of over N400 billion to AMCON. Rather than engage in fruitless campaigns of calumny, they should approach AMCON to pay their loans.”

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Business

Black market dollar to naira exchange rate today 23rd April 2024

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What is the Dollar to Naira Exchange rate at the black market, also known as the parallel market (Aboki fx)?

What is the Dollar to Naira Exchange rate at the black market, also known as the parallel market (Aboki fx)?

See the black market Dollar to Naira exchange rate for 22nd April below.

The exchange rate for a dollar to naira at Lagos Parallel Market (Black Market) players buy a dollar for N1,180 and sell at N1,200 on Monday 22nd April 2024, according to sources at Bureau De Change (BDC).

How much is the Black market dollar to naira today, 23rd April 2024?.

Please note that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not recognize the parallel market (black market), as it has directed individuals who want to engage in Forex to approach their respective banks.

Dollar to Naira Black Market Rate Today
Buying Rate N1,240
Selling Rate N1,260

You can swap your dollar for Naira at these rates.

Please note ThePAPERS.ng does not set or determine forex rates, the rates you buy or sell forex may be different from what is captured in this article because prices vary.

Kindly check for updates at least once every 3 hours.

 

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Business

Illegal N10b transfer: CAC revokes NIPOST subsidiaries’ certificates

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The Corporate Affairs Commission has revoked the certificates of incorporation of NIPOST Properties and Development Company and

The Corporate Affairs Commission has revoked the certificates of incorporation of NIPOST Properties and Development Company and NIPOST Transport and Logistics Services Limited.

This revocation followed the discovery of an illegal transfer of N10 billion in restructuring funds released by the Federal Ministry of Finance to the agency’s subsidiaries.

The CAC, in a statement on Monday, said, “The General Public is hereby informed that the Commission, sequel to its powers contained in Section 41 (7) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act No. 3 of 2020, revoked the Certificates of incorporation of the below-mentioned companies because the same was improperly procured. These companies are:

“1. NIPOST Transport and Logistics Services Company Ltd RC 1673881 and 2. NIPOST Properties & Development Company Ltd RC 1673971.

“By virtue of these revocations, the Companies are deemed to be dissolved and their Assets and Liabilities transferred to the Nigeria Postal Services established under the Nigerian Postal Services Act Cap N127 LFN 2004.”

The November 8, 2023 CAC records confirm that top officials of BPE own significant shares in the subsidiaries.

Responding to these discoveries, the Senate passed a resolution on December 30, 2023, for a probe into the matter.

The resolution declared the NIPOST subsidiaries in question “irregular and illegal” and recommended their immediate winding-up and deregistration.

The Senate resolution goes beyond immediate action; it demanded a thorough investigation into the N10 billion voted by the Ministry of Finance for NIPOST’s restructuring and recapitalisation.

Should evidence of “injudicious utilisation” surface, the Senate said the committee responsible must recover the full amount.

In its resolution of December 30, 2023, the Red Chamber said it uncovered an alleged illegal transfer of Federal Government shares in two NIPOST subsidiaries to private individuals.

The discovered infractions sparked outrage, prompting the lawmakers to call for immediate action.

Some individuals in key positions within the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and NIPOST were listed as shareholders of the two NIPOST subsidiaries.

 

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Aviation

FAAN calls for stronger collaboration with ICAN

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The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku has called for greater collaboration between

.. Says accountants in the agency have performed creditably well

The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAA), Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku has called for greater collaboration between FAAN and the institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

This is just as she stated that the over 100 accountants in the agency’s workforce have been doing their jobs transparently and with integrity.

She said this while speaking when the 59th President of ICAN, Dr. Innocent Okwuossa and his team visited FAAN headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA),Lagos.

She explained that the accountants working with FAAN have proven to be a very important segment of the agency’s work force by carrying out their jobs with commitment, accuracy, transparency and integrity.

According to her, “ It is our desire to continue to partner with your prestigious institute as we leverage on this important visit to call for stronger collaboration between FAAN and ICAN going forward.”

ICAN, Kuku noted, has continued to play a critical role in training and retraining accountants all over the country to provide accounting services with the highest level of professionalism.

She commended the ICAN President and his team for the great work they are doing to keep the professionalism competence going among members .

Speaking further, Kuku said that the present administration in FAAN is committed to ensuring that services at airports across the country meet international standards for safe, secure and efficient carriage of passengers and goods within the country.

We are also mindful of the need to consciously carry out our activities with utmost transparency, accountability and integrity for the benefit of the nation and this is that very important juncture our paths cross as an institution.

Speaking, the President of ICAN, thanked the FAAN boss for giving him and his tram a warm welcome, said that the institute would like to partner with FAAN on capacity building to further equip its members.

He stated that the FAAN Managing Director has not only made history as the first woman managing Director of the agency but that she has also inspired women across the country that they can get to leadership positions.

Okwuossa noted that ICAN recognizes the important role and the impact FAAN makes in the aviation industry infrastructure development, adding that as a result there has not been serious accidents and incidents in the sector for some time now.

The ICAN President pointed out that FAAN has from time to time supported the ICAN members working with the agency for training to further broaden their horizon , calling on the agency to further sponsor their members to the ICAN annual conference coming up in October and other international conferences.

The President appealed to the FAAN managing director to liaise with other agencies to establish the ICAN Chapter.
Present during the visit were directors from FAAN and the ICAN visiting team led by its President, Dr. Innocent Okwuissa

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Oil & Gas

Marketers eye N700/litre diesel after Dangote price cut

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria says it is expecting that the Dangote refinery will reduce the price of its diesel

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria says it is expecting that the Dangote refinery will reduce the price of its diesel further to say about N700 per litre.

The National Vice President of IPMAN, Hammed Fashola, stated this on Wednesday while appreciating the Dangote refinery for reducing the price of diesel from over N1,200 to N1,000.

Fashola, in an interview with our correspondent, maintained that the marketers have high expectations that the price of diesel would still go down.

According to him, the rebound of the naira against the dollar will bring about an appreciable reduction in the diesel price.

“It is a good development, a welcome development. That is what we expected. Even we are still expecting that diesel will still come down more. Because if you look at the dollar rate to the naira now, the currency is doing well against the dollar. The exchange rate now is almost N1,000 on the black market. We still expect that the dollar will come down more,” he stated

The IPMAN boss explained that the price would be reduced because the challenges of shipment, Customs duties and others have been removed since the product is being produced locally.

“When you look at the diesel being produced here, there are lots of factors that have come to play; like the issue of shipment, the issue of tax, Customs and others. All those are not there again. So, we marketers, we are expecting diesel to come to like N700 per litre; that is our prayer and at that level, it will be a blessing to everybody. That is what we are looking at. What we produce here must be quite different from what is imported. That is what we expected,” Fashola submitted.

He spoke further that, “We all supported Dangote, we all prayed for him. We appreciate that the price is coming down, we still expect that the price will come down more and it will be affordable for citizens.

Dangote began the sale of diesel about two weeks ago, crashing the cost of diesel from N1,600/litre to 1,250/litre.

Last Tuesday, the refinery announced another price cut, saying the fuel would now be sold at N1,000/litre.

An economist, Femi Oladele, welcomed the price cut, saying, “This price cut is good news. Production cost should drop significantly and this should also affect the cost of products and services.”

Some businesses that shut down due to exorbitant costs might resurface while new businesses will emerge.”

He also pointed out the potential savings in foreign exchange, which could bolster the nation’s reserves.

The economist expressed optimism about the future, predicting, “If this trajectory continues, we should see a significant increase in economic activities and a drop in inflation.”

Also, an analyst at Sankore Investment Limited, Jonathan Thomas, highlighted the impact of fuel prices on the economy.

“The price of fuel is one of the major determinants of the general price level of goods and services. Petroleum products such as diesel are being used by plants in factories for the production of goods and services. Diesel is also used by heavy vehicles for the transportation of goods and raw materials which are used for production. Therefore, the latest development is expected to impact the total cost of production,” he explained.

 

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Business

Black market dollar (USD) to naira (NGN) exchange rate today 22nd April 2024

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What is the Dollar to Naira Exchange rate at the black market also known as the parallel market (Aboki fx)? See the black market Dollar to

What is the Dollar to Naira Exchange rate at the black market also known as the parallel market (Aboki fx)?
See the black market Dollar to Naira exchange rate for 21st April, below. You can swap your dollar for Naira at these rates.

How much is a dollar to naira today in the black market?

Dollar to naira exchange rate today black market (Aboki dollar rate):

The exchange rate for a dollar to naira at Lagos Parallel Market (Black Market) players buy a dollar for N1290 and sell at N1297 on Sunday 21st April 2024, according to sources at Bureau De Change (BDC).

Please note that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not recognize the parallel market (black market), as it has directed individuals who want to engage in Forex to approach their respective banks.

Dollar to Naira Black Market Rate Today

Dollar to Naira (USD to NGN) Black Market Exchange Rate Today
Buying Rate N1290
Selling Rate N1297

Dollar to Naira CBN Rate Today

Dollar to Naira (USD to NGN) CBN Rate Today
Buying Rate N1160
Selling Rate N1161

Please note that the rates you buy or sell forex may be different from what is captured in this article because prices vary.

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Business

First Bank appoints Olusegun Alebiosu as acting CEO

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced the appointment of Mr. Olusegun Alebiosu as its Acting Chief Executive Officer, effective

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced the appointment of Mr. Olusegun Alebiosu as its Acting Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

This development follows the resignation of Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, who has served as the Managing Director/CEO of the bank.

The announcement was made official through a notification to the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the investing public, adhering to the Issuers’ Rules of The Exchange.

Mr. Alebiosu, who previously held the position of Executive Director and Chief Risk Officer at FirstBank, has been pivotal in spearheading the bank’s transformation strategies over the past eight years.

His tenure at FirstBank began in 2016, and he brings over three decades of extensive banking experience, with a strong background in risk management, compliance, and corporate banking.

The board’s decision to appoint Mr. Alebiosu underscores his deep involvement and proven track record within the bank under the leadership of previous CEOs.

His broad experience includes significant roles such as Chief Risk Officer at Coronation Merchant Bank Limited and Chief Credit Risk Officer at the African Development Bank Group.

Before joining FirstBank, he served in key capacities at United Bank for Africa Plc and started his career at Oceanic Bank Plc (now Ecobank Plc) in 1991.

FirstBank expressed its deep gratitude to Dr. Adeduntan for his leadership and contributions, especially noting his role in overseeing the bank’s growth and transformation during his nine-year tenure.

As Mr. Alebiosu steps into his new role, his appointment is pending approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria, signaling a new chapter for the 130-year-old financial institution as it continues to navigate the evolving banking landscape.

 

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