Funds of foreign airlines trapped in Nigeria jump to $550m

The foreign airlines’ funds trapped in Nigeria have hit $550 million, while an estimated $1.1 billion is equally entangled in the whole of Africa.


The figures were revealed Tuesday by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Mr. Kamil Ala Wadhi, during a visit to the Chairman, House of Representative Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji.


Wadhi also acknowledged the interest shown by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and Nnaji, in resolving the issue.


He disclosed that within his regions, a total of $1.1billion in airlines’ funds are blocked and half of these funds—$550 million—are held in Nigeria.


“I do appreciate your interventions and l urge you to continue to do more so that it can be quickly resolved”, he added.


Nnaji appealed to IATA to prevail on its member airlines to show understanding as the various organs of government were making efforts to ensure that their ticket proceeds are duly remitted.


He reminded his guest that the prevailing situation was in consonance with the global economic meltdown, assuring him that the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had put in place a mechanism for the liquidation of the blocked funds.


Nnaji told the IATA Vice President that the Federal Government has made tremendous investments in the aviation sector to improve the security and safety of air transportation in the country.


He also praised the association for its contributions to the safety of air travel through its Operational Safety Programmes (IOSA), which a number of Nigerian airlines have benefited from.


It would be recalled that Nigeria had earlier released $425million foreign airlines’ fund while $175million is still pending.






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