With the recent buzz surrounding Arik Air Limited, the Export Development Canada (EDC) has warned the Economic Financial and Crimes Commission (EFCC) to lay off its Mortgage Rights. The Canadian company stated that the CRJ 1000 owned by JEM Leasing Limited, was partly financed by EDC. As a condition to that financing, the aircraft was mortgaged to EDC and remains mortgaged to EDC.

In a letter to EFCC, the Export Development Canada (EDC) has requested that the EFCC does not impede the Buyer’s access to the Aircraft which the crime commission is obstructing the owner from repossessing following a petition filed by Sir Johnson Arumemi, founder of Arik Air. Any interference goes against the Cape Town protocol to which Nigeria is a signatory.

Recent events surrounding the unjustified interference by the EFCC further to a petition by Sir Johnson Arumemi Ikhide, in respect of the sale of an aircraft by JEM Leasing Limited in cooperation with financing provided by EDC, have raised concerns about the interference faced by lenders and the potential repercussions for Nigeria’s economic fortunes. It is imperative for the Nigerian government to prioritize the preservation of investor confidence and provide a stable and supportive environment for international lenders.

With the recent development, some aviation observers are urgently calling upon the Nigerian state to protect the interests of international lenders as the handling of this matter will significantly impact their decisions on whether to invest in Nigeria’s fragile economy, in future.

The spurious allegations and mis-narrations circulating in the public domain, particularly that the Receiver Manager of Arik has superintended over the stripping of the CRJ 1000 Aircraft, without the knowledge of the owner of the said Aircraft – JEM Leasing Limited, is untrue.  It is crucial to establish the truth and hold accountable those responsible for disseminating false information.

EDC stated that the said reports are untrue noting that JEM has agreed to sell the aircraft to Alberta Aviation Capital Corp who in turn has authorization to tear it down. 

EDC, as a Crown Corporation wholly owned by the Government of Canada, plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth and development through investments in various projects worldwide. This episode superintended by the EFCC threatens not only future investments by EDC in Nigeria but also sends a discouraging message to other potential lenders considering investments in Nigeria.