By Louis Iba
A new twist has been introduced to the alleged N12.5 billion debt owed the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) by Arik Air, as Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), has come out to claim it is the rightful owner of the money and not the nation’s foremost airport parastatal.
Bi-Courtney is the operator of the domestic terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (also known as MMA2) under a concession deal signed with the Federal Government in 2000.
Its spokesman, Mr. Aderemi Ladigbolu, in a statement faulted the decision by FAAN staff to lock out Arik Air staff from making use of the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) a fortnight ago because of the debt which accrued from service charges not paid by the airline. Ladigbolu described the money as Bi-Courtney’s legitimate revenue saying FAAN was operating the GAT illegally.
“Bi-Courtney wishes to affirm categorically that Arik Air’s alleged N12.5 billion indebtedness, which led to the disruption of its operations in Lagos and Abuja by aviation workers on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 is part of Bi-Courtney’s legitimate revenue that FAAN continues to appropriate despite several legal pronouncements,” said Ladigbolu.
“The country’s law recognises Bi-Courtney as the genuine owner of GAT, thus making FAAN’s continuous operation of the terminal illegal and a clear violation of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “