Trapped Foreign Airline Funds: CBN Releases $265m City

August 26, 2022

Respite may have come for a number of foreign airlines having difficulties in continuing flight operation in Nigeria following their inability to assess their trapped funds.

Sources say Nigerian’s apex bank, the central Banks of Nigeria, CBN, has released a total of $265m, part of which will be given to the affected foreign airlines.

A CBN source explained that $230m of the intervention fund is to tackle FX intervention while the remaining $35m has been released through Retail SMIS auction to clear outstanding ticket sales.

According to the International Air Transportation Association, IATA, International airlines have about $464m of their funds trapped in Nigeria as at July 2022. Following the development, a number of the airlines ran into difficulties keeping up with their operations in the country. Emirates Airlines in particular, announced recently that it was suspending flight operations to and from Nigeria effective September 1. Several other foreign airlines, including British Airways, are also reported to be contemplating a similar action.

Apparently worried over the import of the fallout of a comprehensive foreign airline withdrawal, on both the country’s aviation sector in particular and econy in general, the CBN, decided to act quickly.

Already, the apex bank has confirmed, through its Director of Corporate Affairs, Osita Nwansiobi, that the money, envisaged to provide measured relief for the airlines, has been released.

“Yes, that’s the position,” Nwansiobi said,

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