The Federal Government has virtually cleared all the blocked funds belonging to foreign airlines, Daily Trust can report.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) office in Lagos had late last year said the total amount from the blocked funds belonging to foreign airlines have dropped to $30 million from the initial $600m when the foreign exchange scarcity was biting hard.
But from last year till date, the blocked funds have dropped drastically as most of the foreign airlines have been able to repatriate their trapped funds, it was learnt.
A source privy to the issue said, “I can confirm to you that most of the foreign airlines have been able to clear their blocked funds. The situation has really improved and we thank the Federal Government for this”.
As of the time of filing this report, only British Airways, the United Kingdom mega carrier confirmed it has cleared all the backlogs of its ticket sales in Nigeria.
British Airways’ Country Manager in Nigeria, Mr. Kola Olayinka made the confirmation in a brief chat with our correspondent yesterday.
Olayinka thanked the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for their efforts to make sure the issue is dealt with headlong.
It was learnt that IATA is expected to issue a statement on the status of the blocked funds in ticket sales in Nigeria in no distant time.
It would be recalled that foreign airlines operating from Nigeria had experienced difficulties repatriating proceeds of their ticket sale following forex scarcity in 2016.
However, 2017 saw a massive improvement in clearing the blocked funds following regular interventions by the CBN.
IATA’s Area Manager, South West Nigeria, Dr. Samson Fatokun, had predicted the clearance of the backlog, saying, “If the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN continues with the current intervention strategy, the block funds could be cleared within two weeks”.
Culled from Daily Trust Nigeria