By Kenneth Ehigiator
Chairman of IRS Airlines, Alhaji Rabiu I. Rabiu, yesterday dismissed claims by the Central Bank (CBN) that his airline was owing Universal Trust Bank N3.3 billion, saying the only facility it took from the bank and which the airline had been servicing was not more than N1.05 billion.
In a statement in Lagos last night, Alhaji Rabiu said: â€œOur attention has been drawn to the CBN publication of non-performing loans and the inclusion of our name as one of the entities with a non-performing loan of N3.3 billion and in particular the mention of Khalifa Isyaku Rabiu as the debtor.
â€œWe have noticed that most publications show Khalifa Isyaku Rabiu as the principal officer of the company rather than Rabiu Isyaku Rabiu who is the Chairman of the Board and the CEO of the company.
â€œThe history of the account makes it a unique and special case as it was inherited from Universal Trust Bank (UTB) by Union Bank and the bank is still working at understanding the history of the account.
â€œAt inception, the facility was for N1.05 billion for the purchase of aircraft and was fully collateralised.
â€œAs at today, we have paid about N2 billion in principal and interest payments and payments are still being made while reconciliation on disputed issues of penalty interest and charges amounting to over N2.5 billion are going on in tandem.
â€œWe wish to make it abundantly clear that the balance on the account as at date is not N3.3 Bn and that we have been making payments to Union Bank while issues relating to the account are being resolved by Union Bank internally.â€