The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) is awaiting regulatory approval to launch a new holding company for aviation assets under its control, which would enable the state asset manager to exit the sector, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Kuru has told The Nation newspaper.

Kuru said AMCON had applied for an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to establish a holding company that would collectively manage airlines currently under its management, including Arik Air (W3, Lagos), Aero Contractors (N2, Lagos), Afrijet Airlines (6F, Lagos) and another two undisclosed airlines, instead of AMCON managing them separately as at present. “The strategic exit plan, is to float a holding company, warehousing all aviation assets for (an) easy sale,” he was quoted as saying.

AMCON’s start-up NG Eagle (XLE, Lagos) had branded aircraft waiting on the ground for the airline's certification to be finalised, he said. NG Eagle was incorporated on July 11, 2019, with a share capital of NGN1 billion (USD2.5 million), of which AMCON holds NGN499.9 million (USD1.2 million), with the rest held by private investors. As previously reported, NG Eagle was said to be in the final AOC drive and had applied to use at least three B737NGs to operate domestic routes.

Asked for comment, AMCON spokesperson Jude Nwauzor described the Nigerian news reports as speculative. "I do not have further information at the moment until we are through with a series of ongoing consultations for all our aviation assets," he informed ch-aviation.

Kuru told The Nation that AMCON had saved Arik Air and Aero Contractors from collapse. “Our intervention efforts in Arik Air with the support and collaboration of the federal government did a great service to the growth of the sector," he said.

“A similar intervention at Aero Contractors also saved the airline from collapse. As a matter of fact, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) (has) certified Aero Contractors, which is under AMCON receivership, to commence C-check maintenance services on Boeing series in Nigeria. This is a commendable feat in Nigeria’s aviation industry, and there are several other companies that we have saved,” he said.