Eight distressed airlines are currently owing the Asset Management Company of Nigeria(AMCON) N135 billion, the Managing Director of the company, Dr Mustapha Chike Obi, has said.
AMCON Managing Director who disclosed this to the Senate Committee on Aviation investigating the recent crash of a Dana aircraft, refused to mention the airlines, saying that the money was part of the non-performing loans his company took over from the airlines.
He said his company decided to take over the loans to reduce the financial constraint of the airlines with a view to ensuring efficient operations.
Queried by the panel over the alleged diversion of the Aviation Intervention Fund, the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Mrs. Evelyn Oputu, said the fund was being "prudently utilized to refinance existing bank loans owned by the various airlines.
On why the BoI did not kick against the low two percent interest rate which the United Bank for Africa (UBA) charged on the N35.5 billion Air Nigeria received as intervention fund, she said, "It is the prerogative of any bank to charge any rate it wishes so long as such charges don't exceed the approved ceiling.