Monday, September 24, 2012

Former employees of Air Nigeria want airline probed over N36 billion fraud

Some ex-workers of Air Nigeria have petitioned the Central Bank of Nigeria to investigate the N35.5 billion aviation intervention fund given to the carrier some years back to strengthen its operations.
The CBN had, while injecting the fund to the sector, said that "airlines can now partake of the funds and those that are indebted to banks can refinance their loans and amortise them over a period of 10 to 15 years."
The funds were also supposed to help airlines meet the International Civil Aviation Organisation's certifications and address all the issues of technical standards and planes' airworthiness.
The petition dated September 12, 2012, entitled, "Closure of Air Nigeria, call for investigation of N35.5 billion Aviation Intervention Fund", chairman of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, Air Nigeria, Roland Ahmed said the body respectfully wishes to seek the intervention of the governor of the CBN in a N35.5 billion facility drawn by the carrier.
Part of the letter read: "The fund was graciously released after much pressure to enable Nigeria airlines refinance its huge debt as well as inject life into the administration of aviation.
"We understand that the fund extended to Air Nigeria was guaranteed by the airline's main banker United Bank for Africa. To this end, we feel obliged to intimate you of the recent closure of Air Nigeria for flight operation by its chairman Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim. Permit us Sir, to draw your attention to this as we believe it to be an anomaly and a defeat of the noble intention of the federal government through the CBN. We therefore implore your office to take immediate steps to safeguard the N35.5 billion public fund which now appears trapped by Air Nigeria's closure."

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