CBN, FOREIGN AIRLINES DIFFER OVER $700M TRAPPED FUNDS
Written by Oyebamiji Idowu on January 31, 2024
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and international airlines operating in the country are at odds over the remaining amount of unpaid ticket revenue trapped in Nigeria. While the CBN claims to have settled all verified claims, amounting to $136.73 million, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) insists approximately $700 million remains outstanding.
On Tuesday, the CBN announced an additional $64.44 million disbursement to airlines, concluding payments for “all verified claims,” according to CBN spokesperson Mrs. Hakama Sidi Ali. This brings the total paid to the air transport sector to $136.73 million.
However, IATA, representing most global airlines, welcomed the latest payment but emphasized the significant discrepancy with their estimations. In a swift response, IATA highlighted that “approximately $700 million” remains unpaid, urging the Nigerian government to expedite the release of further funds.
This discrepancy raises concerns about transparency and the potential impact on airline operations in Nigeria. While the CBN claims to have fulfilled its obligations regarding verified claims, IATA’s statement suggests a larger issue persists.
The trapped funds have been a major point of contention for airlines operating in Nigeria, leading to reduced flight frequencies and concerns about the sustainability of their operations. A swift and transparent resolution to this dispute is crucial for restoring confidence in the Nigerian aviation industry and ensuring its smooth functioning.
It remains to be seen how this will unfold and whether further negotiations or actions will be necessary to bridge the gap between the CBN’s claims and IATA’s demands.
Source: Jordan105.5fm News Bulletin.