Political sidelining of startup NG Eagle (Lagos) has cost parent Asset Management Corporation (AMCON) an estimated NGN22 billion naira (USD53 million), reports Nigeria’s The Guardian.

The Nigerian Senate, in mid-October 2021, called on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to suspend NG Eagle's certification process – at the time nearing completion. The newspaper has sighted an unsigned Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) for NG Eagle dated September 21, 2021, for scheduled and unscheduled passenger and cargo operations, that would have been valid until September 20, 2023.

The political sticking point has been AMCON’s NGN235 billion (USD572 million) debt, including its NGN200 billion (USD487 million) exposure to Arik Air (W3, Lagos) (under AMCON's receivership) and NGN35 billion owed to various civil aviation agencies. The Nigerian National Assembly in February 2022 declared NG Eagle would not be certified until Arik Air offset the outstanding debt of NGN10.8 billion, The Guardian reports.

The result for AMCON has been losses on three grounded B737-700s (former Arik Air aircraft), insurance premiums, staff salaries, and other operating costs. According to Flightradar24 ADS-B data, two of the aircraft - 5N-MJE (msn 34761) and 5N-MJG (msn 33944) – have remained stored at Lagos since early 2021. According to The Guardian, they will be due for C-check maintenance in May 2022.

In March 2022, AMCON’s expenses regarding NG Eagle included USD1.66 million in staff salaries; USD934,611 for aircraft insurance; USD757,954 for engine leases and shipment; USD525,386 for procurement; USD298,605 for contracted services; and USD121,829 for information technology.

Other costs included USD113,699 for logistics; USD25,588 for rent; USD16,583 for repair and renovation of offices; USD36,000 for preservation maintenance; USD757,620 for contracted engineering personnel; USD2.4 million for heavy maintenance; and USD45.75 million in lost revenue.

AMCON was established by an Act of the National Assembly on July 19, 2010, primarily to resolve the nation's banking sector crisis and restore stability to its economy.