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NG Eagle: Arik unions back AMCON’s divestment move

There’s brewing controversy among aviation unions over the planned commencement of flights by Nigeria Eagle set up with equipment from Arik Air. The Air Transport…

There’s brewing controversy among aviation unions over the planned commencement of flights by Nigeria Eagle set up with equipment from Arik Air.

The Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN), National Association of Nigeria Aircraft Pilots and Engineers and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), all of Arik Air branch on Tuesday warned sister organisations, the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the National Union of Pensioners (NUP) to stay away from the affairs of Arik Air and NG Eagle.

Daily Trust reports that the Nigeria Eagle, which is awaiting its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), was incorporated as NG Eagle Limited RC: 1600277 on July 11, 2019 with a share capital of N1,000,000,000. The shareholders are AMCON with 499,999,999, while Omokhide Kamilu Alaba has one unit share.

Already, two Arik aircraft have been converted to Nigeria Eagle’s ahead of the commencement of operation.

Our correspondent learnt that ANAP and NUP are opposing the creation of NG Eagles from Arik Air over alleged indebtedness of Arik to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

They are, however, asking the NCAA not to give the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to the NG Eagle.

But the Arik unions held a rally at the headquarters of the airline in Lagos, kicking against the position of ANAP and NUP which they described as busybodies as both unions were not domesticated in Arik Air.

General Secretary of NUATE Comrade Ocheme Aba, who spoke to newsmen at Arik’s head office backed AMCON’s divestment move in Arik, saying the union was already on the verge of negotiating the severance of Arik workers.

He said, “By the time NG Eagle will be taking off, there will not be any staff of Arik Air who has not been properly severed, that is our mandate.

“Our purpose, we stated clearly, we did not say they should not be given AOC but we said we will not let them fly until the status of Arik staff with regards to NG Eagle has been properly established.

“If their years of service to Arik have been compensated, they can go to NG Eagle and pick up new employment.”

Ocheme expressed confidence in the NCAA in doing the right thing as far as issuance of AOCs is concerned, saying the regulatory agency cannot be dictated to.

Chairman of NUATE, Arik branch Olalekan Ogunlesi called on the NCAA to disregard ANAP and NUP, insisting both unions had no legal or moral right to meddle in the affairs of Arik or NG Eagle as they have no members in the airline.