AMCON takes over OAS Helicopters over unpaid debt

Caverton Offshore

The Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON has has taken over the management of OAS Helicopters.

OAS Helicopters is one of the largest helicopter services companies in Nigeria with headquarters in Maryland, Lagos.

At at 8pm Nigerian time yesterday, there were court order inscriptions “POSSESSION TAKEN TODAY 14/2/17 BY AMCON COURT ORDER ON SUIT NO. FHC/4CS/1139/2016” on the expansive fence of the company at its Maryland helipad and corporate office.

The company has been providing helicopter services to the oil servicing industry as well as commercial and charter services in the last two decades. OAS Helicopters means Odengene Air Shuttle Services. In the course of its expansion, the company started Odengene Air, a private jet charter company which it runs simultaneously its helicopters’ business.

Why OAS Helicopters is in financial crisis is still unknown. This is because the company was one of the beneficiaries of the President Goodluck Jonathan aviation intervention fund. The fund was given to airlines to boost their capital base and run profitable businesses.

In its renewed drive to recoup all the toxic debt in its books, AMCON has clamped down on several debtors on its roster over the course of the week. Last week, the AMCON took over the management of both Arik Air and Aero Contractors over their huge pile of debt and management inefficiencies was about to lead to their collapse.

After the takeover of Arik Air was carried out, sources at AMCON hinted that the rot in the largest domestic airline in Nigeria was huge. The airline was said to require a minimum of NGN10 billion to continue operations. With a residual debt of NGN140 billion, Arik about collapse under its own weight.

The vigour shown by AMCON to recover major loans in its books is also a strategy to reduce the huge debt in its own balance sheet. As at last year, AMCON declared over NGN4 trillion debt.

It is expected that AMCON will take over more businesses. The challenge going forward is its capacity to cope with the huge challenge of running these businesses successfully, many of which are lacking in proper corporate governance, structure and business model.