The news of one time giant of the Nigeria airways, Aero Contractors, folding up due to inability to run on profitability hit the Nigerian economic sector mid day today, August 31st, 2016 as the management of the airline announced a temporary shut down of the aircraft operations.
Despite the management stating the current economic situation of the country as its reasons for shutting down, fresh findings have revealed that the airline which once make boasts of eighteen state-of-the-art aircrafts and multiple helicopters have been reduced to barely two aircrafts as at end of July.
BlackBox Nigeria gathered that the company which was taken over by Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON in 2011 due to its inability to pay back a defaulted N11bn loan ran into murky waters when series of fraud committed by top two board members of the company, which were from the Ibru family came to the open.
BBN also gathered that after a thorough investigation by two unions in the industry; Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), revealed that the two brothers from the Ibru family purchased about seven aircrafts at the cost of $12m each on behalf of the company, but in turn leased same six of the aircrafts using Oceanic Capital as the consultant.
However, it was later discovered that the aircraft was pegged at $4m each, as it was seen on the firm’s website Arizona. This among other fraud and illegal funds transfer in the company grounded it accounts.
Since then, the company been led by Captain Fola Akinkuotu, who is the Chief Executive Officer have been running on losses, making its debt profile rise from N11bn in 2011 to N20bn 2016, which made AMCON to finally liquidate it after a reputable auditing firm concluded investigation into the dealings of the aircraft over the years.