Arik Air paid over N4 billion to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN ), for landing , parking fees, rent, passenger service charge (PSC), and fuel surcharge last year.
The payments, it was gathered were made for the months of January, February, March , April, June , July, September and December last year.
The N4 billion investigations, further revealed, is contrary to claims by sources close to FAAN, which claimed that the carrier has not been paying its bills since it began operations eight years ago.
Investigations reveal that Arik Air in January last year paid N335,562,212.50; N318,575,022.50 in February and N327,359,180 in March.
In April, it paid N370,417,622.50 while in June same year , it paid N349,471,655. In July, the airline paid N315,530,737.50.
In September and December , it paid N344,486,305 and N477,232,605.50 respectively to the Federal government.
“ The total amount paid to FAAN in 2014 was N3,941,023,995. This is contrary to claims that the airline has not been paying its bills,”a source close to the carrier said on condition of anonymity.
FAAN according to investigations said the airline owes about N287,834,450.47 and $8,192.00 for its Abuja operations .
FAAN, in a letter endorsed by its Regional Manager, Abuja Airport Engineer O.O Osituyo to the Arik Arik Station Manager, Abuja put the debt accruing on the electronic platform hitherto operated by Maevis Limited at N470,338,773,68 and $1,748.90 respectively.
FAAN said the debts covered landing and parking fees, passenger service charge , rent , service recovery charge for operations at Abuja Airport.
Last week, officials of FAAN disrupted Arik Air’s operations at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Hundreds of passengers were affected by the disrupted operations.
The officials denied the airline’s staff access to their duty post making it impossible to process passengers for departures out of Abuja.
Worried over the development, the Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka stepped into the matter by ordering a reconciliation of the lingering debts between FAAN and Arik Air
According to Arik Air spokesman, Mr Ola Adebanji the airline has described the debt by the agency as fictitious and malicious.
Arik Air insists that it does not owe FAAN any money since the agency’s charges are paid in advance (pay-as-you-go basis).
“This has been the practice for over two years when all the aviation agencies introduced pay-as-you-go for their services. The bogus debt claim by FAAN is therefore unacceptable to Arik Air”, he said.