Officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), on Thursday morning, disrupted Arik Air’s operations at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, when they denied the airline’s staff access to their duty posts.
A statement from the Corporate Affairs Manager, Arik Air, Mr, Ola Banji, said the latest action might not be unconnected with the alleged debt that FAAN claimed Arik was owing it, a claim he described as fictitious and malicious.
He insisted that Arik Air did not owe FAAN any money, since the agency’s charges were paid in advance (pay-as-you-go basis), adding that it had been the practice for over two years, when all the aviation agencies introduced pay-as-you-go for their services.
He said the the bogus debt claim by FAAN was, therefore, unacceptable to Arik Air.
Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka, had earlier stepped into the lingering debt issue between FAAN and Arik Air and had directed that a firm of auditors be engaged to reconcile the books. This process had not been concluded before the latest action by FAAN on Thursday.
Banji said since about 10:50 am when the Minister directed the Managing Director of FAAN to allow Arik Air access into the terminal, the directive was yet to be complied with by FAAN.