Tuesday, August 20, 2013

■ NIGERIA: AMCON confirms appointment of new CEO, CFO at Aero.

The Nigerian government's Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON)'s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi has confirmed the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer (Mr Hugh Fraser) and a new Chief Financial Officer to Aero (AJ), also known as AeroContractors. Mr Fraser is understood to have been in the position since May.

AMCON last year acquired a 60% controlling stake in Aero, Nigeria's oldest carrier, after the airline was forced to source "over NGN20billion (USD124million)" in funding from the institution's Aviation Intervention Fund as a means of shoring up its financial footing. Prior to the development, Aero was 100 per cent owned by the Ibru family, which acquired a full stake in the airline in 2010 after then Canadian partner, CHC helicopters, pulled out.

Speaking to ThisDay, Mr Obi confirmed AMCON had taken over the management of the airline because of its debt-burden but stated that the take over of the airline had not affected its operations. Among Mr Fraser's responsibilities will be the revitalization of the scandal hit airline as Abuja intends to use it as a business model for other carriers to follow. Mr Fraser has stated that his initial plans for the Nigerian carrier include the acquisition of IOSA certification of the airline to allow it to offer codeshares to international operators flying into Nigeria.

Aero’s overall indebtedness to Nigeria's commercial banks is estimated at about NGN32billion, which AMCON bought during Nigeria's banking sector reforms.

Based out of Lagos, Aero operates to Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Owerri, Kano, Sokoto and Calabar with regional flights to Accra and Douala.