A Federal high court sitting in Lagos South West Nigeria has adjourned till 10 February the debt recovery suit filed against Arik Airlines by Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
FAAN says Arik is owing it N11.2 billion and $942,147.02, over seven years, a total of N11.4billion.
According to the statement of claim filed on behalf of FAAN before the court by Ridwan Bello of Multi sector Law group,it was alleged that Arik Airlines owes arrears for Services and use of facilities at the Nigeria’s four major airports between 1 August 2008 and 18 august 2015.
The airports are Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano,and Port-Harcourt International Airport . The Airline was alleged to have denied FAAN the use of the revenue which the statute mandates FAAN to collect as a source of funds for its day to day running and upkeep of its operations
The break down of the Arik Airline’s indebtedness to FAAN is as follows:
- FAAN Direct Billing- N3,116,579,449.75,
- Outstanding under the era of Maevis Limited- N3,036,785,375.98
- N1,998,004,109.44 being unpaid landing fees and other fees for domestic operation.
- IATA Direct Billing- N1,809,998,414.07 and N89,593,597.50,
Consequently,FAAN is now urging the court to compel the Airline to pay its debts or else it will apply to the court for order of possession and sale of the Airline’s fleets of Aircraft in liquidation of the Airlines indebtedness.
FAAN is also demanding for the sum of N200million as legal fees for prosecuting this debt recovery suit.
Arik Airlines has not responded to the suit. But the Airlines is also heavily indebted to another aviation agency, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA). As at last December, its indebtedness was estimated at N5billion.
*The writer, Kuponiyi can be reached at email@example.com