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Nigerian Govt seeks CBN to resolve imbroglo over foreign airlines’ trapped funds 

To resolve the lingering airlines’ trapped funds, President Bola Tinubu has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to hold quarterly reconciliation meetings to find a lasting solution to the matter. THE NATION reports.He said the delay in fixing the problem had damaged the country’s reputation in the global aviation industry.

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, said this yesterday at the seventh Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition in Abuja.NYCS Portal

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Nigeria leads the pack among countries withholding foreign carriers’ funds with over $812.2 million  trapped as proceeds from ticket sales.JAMB Portal

Nigeria is  ahead of Bangladesh with $214.1 million;  Algeria with $196.3 million ;   Pakistan with $188.2 million and Lebanon trailing fifth with $141.2 million.

IATA’s Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Willie Walsh, has warned   that rapidly rising levels of blocked funds constitute  a threat to airline connectivity in the affected markets.

The industry’s blocked funds, Walsh said increased by 47 per cent  to $2.27 billion in April 2023 from $1.55 billion in April 2022.JAMB Result

Walsh said:Airlines cannot continue to offer services in markets where they are unable to repatriate the revenues arising from their commercial activities in those markets.

“Governments need to work with industry to resolve this situation so airlines can continue to provide the connectivity that is vital to driving economic activity and job creation”.JAMB Result

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IATA urged governments to abide by international agreements and treaty obligations to enable airlines to repatriate these funds arising from the sale of tickets, cargo space, and other activities.

Keyamo noted that the current administration was open to providing tax holidays to encourage existing and new entrants into the Nigerian aviation sector.NYCS Portal

The Minister noted that the current administration was aware that one of the setbacks entrepreneurs have suffered in Nigeria in recent years is the fluctuation of foreign exchange and its availability, stressing that it is the vision of this current administration to make Nigeria the aviation hub of Africa.JAMB Portal


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He, however, noted that in order to attract foreign investors, the government is already looking at the following areas to improve aviation business in Nigeria through infrastructure upgrade, upgrading of the Category Three Instrument Landing System (ILS) at major airports, construction of the second runway in Abuja, airport improvement programmes through concession and government willingness to partner with companies to turn major airports into aerotropolis.InformationGuideNigeria

Other initiatives in the aviation sector roadmap which he said the government has fully adopted include the creation of aircraft leasing companies.

The government, according to the Minister, welcomes major players in aircraft leasing and head lessors to invest in Nigeria airlines to provide state-of-the-art aircraft, adding that the government would ensure enforcement of contract agreements and the rights of investors and all parties are protected.

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Essien, Goodnews is a gruaduate of Communication Arts, University of Uyo, Uyo; Currently working at Infoguide Media as a news writer.

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