Nigeria is World’s Most Indebted Country to Foreign Airlines as Funds Kept in CBN Hit $600 Million

Nigeria is World’s Most Indebted Country to Foreign Airlines as Funds Kept in CBN Hit $600 Million

  • Foreign airlines are battling to retrieve about $600 million belonging to them, which is trapped in the Central Bank of Nigeria
  • The $600 million makes Nigeria the most indebted country to foreign airlines in the world, according to data
  • A recent report says that the Central Bank of Nigeria could not release the funds due to the current scarcity of forex

Nigeria may lose the patronage of foreign airlines as it becomes the worst indebted country to foreign airlines globally.

The raging controversy over funds trapped in the country may snowball into a stalemate as $600 million trapped in the vaults of the Central Bank of Nigeria has become the highest owed by any country in the world.

Nigeria, Foreign airlines
President Buhari Credit: State House
Source: Facebook

Global debt to foreign airlines hit $1.25 billion

According to the Tribune, as of March 2022, the trapped fund was $285 million.

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Reports say that the debt was put at $282 million in March this year and increased to $450 million in June, and later skyrocketed to $600 million, with experts warning that it could hit $1 billion by the end of 2022 if the Nigerian government refuses to give a hoot.

The amount consists of the accumulated funds gotten by the more than 27 foreign airlines operating in the country through the air transport services given to the Nigerian flying public but is now trapped in the CBN as the country battles forex scarcity.

CBN keeps mute over trapped fund

The report says that the trapped $600 million represents almost half of the entire $1.620 billion owed to foreign airlines globally.

Efforts have been made before now by the airlines to repatriate the funds back to their home countries and have not been successful as the CBN seems to be giving a cold response.

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Foreign airlines' N117bn trapped in Nigeria as CBN can't find dollars enough for them to send home revenues reported that 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 airlines is now a source of worry.

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


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