Foreign Airlines' N117bn Trapped in Nigeria as CBN Can't Find Dollars Enough For them to Send Home Revenues

Foreign Airlines' N117bn Trapped in Nigeria as CBN Can't Find Dollars Enough For them to Send Home Revenues

  • Foreign airlines operating in and out of Nigeria are finding it difficult to repatriate the money made in Nigeria
  • The airlines, about 30 in number, expressed displeasure, saying they are currently having over N117 billion trapped in Nigeria
  • Some of the foreign airlines operating in Nigeria include British Airways, Delta Airlines, Egypt Air, Emirates Airline among others

Foreign airlines operating in Nigeria are struggling to repatriate their dollar dividends and are stuck with naira they don’t need.

The idle cash lying in the Nigerian accounts of over 30 of the airlines is now a source of worry.

Daily Trust reports that the trapped money rose from $147 million (N61 billion) as at August 2021, and has nearly doubled, reaching $283m (about N117.6bn).

Trapped fund, airlines, CBN, British airways
Passengers on arrival from Abuja to Lagos at Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Credit: Photo by Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto
Source: Facebook

How the money got trapped

Due to bilateral air service agreements (BASAs) with countries, foreign airlines operating in Nigeria sells their tickets in naira.

Read also

Banks to start paying customers in coins, as lawmakers, tell CBN to reinforce its use as legal tender

PAY ATTENTION: Install our latest app for Android, read best news on Nigeria’s #1 news app

After the sales, the airlines would repatriate the funds in dollars through an official window approved by the government.

Government speaks

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, during the commissioning of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) New terminal, confirmed that foreign airlines' operating in Nigeria are finding it difficult to repatriate their funds.

He said:

“Mr President, the aviation business suffers from issues of access to foreign exchange by local and foreign airlines and the ability to repatriate blocked funds.
“Nigeria currently holds $283m of foreign airlines funds blocked in the country. I would like to humbly request the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria, through the directive of Mr President, to prioritize access to forex for all carriers both local and foreign and to work out a mechanism to clear the existing backlog urgently and prevent subsequent build up.”

Read also

Forex and inflation to drive hike in electricity tariff every 6 months, says NERC

Nigerian man in the US shares reasons American embassy denies people student visas

Meanwhile, in another news, a Nigerian man who is currently residing in the United States has made some revelations as to why most of his fellow countrymen seeking academic opportunities in the states are not granted students visa.

In a series of tweets he made with his Twitter handle @MisterNigerD, he said the key to scaling through the visa application hurdle is not giving the consular at the embassy any reason to believe that you will be staying back in the US after your studies.

The Tweep stated that another huge pitfall to avoid is to say you would be getting a job when your school is on holiday in the state. This, according to him, will get your visa application denied.


Online view pixel