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CBN provides $265 million to airlines to help clear up frozen funds

Godwin Emefiele Apex Bank

Airlines operating in the nation will receive $265 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to settle unpaid ticket sales.

According to a breakdown of the amount, $230 million was made available as special Forex (FX) intervention, and another $35 million was made available through an auction for retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS).

The CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, acknowledged this and added that the Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and his team were concerned about the development and what it meant for the industry, travelers, and the nation as a whole in the community of nations.

Nwanisobi emphasized that the apex bank actually advocated a “orderly exit” for those interested in doing so, stating that it was not opposed to any company returning its funds to the nation.

The Nigerian government was recently criticized by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for failing to assist Emirates Airlines in getting their money out of Nigeria.

Emirates declared on August 18, 2022, that all of its flights from Nigeria would cease with effect on September 1, 2022, due to difficulties it claimed to be having with the repatriation of its funds.

The airline explained its decision in a statement it provided to The ICIR, claiming that no steps had been taken to remove its cash from Nigeria.

The airline said that it had been making failed attempts to repatriate the $85 million in ticket sales that it claimed were still in Nigeria.

British Airways was also about to stop operating flights in Nigeria earlier today due to what the airline claimed was difficulty in remitting blocked payments from Nigeria.

The airline revealed that it was closing inventories on its Nigeria business and would not be selling new tickets going forward until the airline’s issue with stuck monies was handled in a covert memo to the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), which was extensively publicized.

However, the airline later changed its mind and announced that it would continue to run its flights according to schedule.


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