FG Confirms $600 Million Still Owed to Foreign Airlines, Exonerates CBN

FG Confirms $600 Million Still Owed to Foreign Airlines, Exonerates CBN

  • The Nigerian government has confirmed that about $600 million belonging to foreign airlines was still held in Nigeria
  • The minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Festus Keyamo, said commercial banks and not the CBN owed the amount
  • IATA had raised the alarm over $700m still trapped after the CBN claimed it had cleared all FX backlog owed to foreign airlines

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The minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Festus Keyamo, has clarified the issue of trapped funds belonging to foreign airlines.

The minister said about $600 million was still held up in commercial banks, which he said was different from the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) direct obligations.

Festus Keyamo, IATA, CBN, Foreign Airlines
Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Festus Keyamo Credit: @FAAN
Source: Twitter

Keyamo blames banks for debt to foreign airlines

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According to reports, Keyamo stated that the original debt to foreign airlines was about $700 million, of which the apex bank has successfully cleared about $136.73 million, with the remaining balance concerning transactions foreign airlines conducted with commercial banks.

Keyamo said:

“It is the naira component deposited at the commercial banks that the banks have not been able to pay them the dollar equivalent of, not the CBN.”

Keyamo disclosed this at the 10th Annual Aviation Workers Week and Award Night, stressing the government’s commitment to fulfilling its financial obligations to foreign investors.

He said CBN met its obligations from forex auctions conducted some years ago.

Addressing the high cost of air tickets, Keyamo highlighted the government’s efforts to tackle the issue.

IATA insists Nigeria still owe $700 million

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Recall that after CBN confirmed that it had cleared the balance of airlines trapped funds, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that about $700 million belonging to foreign airlines remained trapped in Nigeria.

IATA had maintained that its member airlines are owed over $2 billion globally, out of which Nigeria owed about $800 million, making it the most indebted country to foreign airlines globally,

FG explains why foreign airlines abandon Nigeria

Legit.ng reported that the federal government has explained why some airlines prefer neighbouring countries to Nigeria.

The presidential fiscal policy and tax reform committee's chairman, Taiwo Oyedele, spoke at the Business Breakfast Meeting organised by the Aviation Round Table Initiative (ARTI).

The event was titled “Nigerian Aviation Sector Charges, Duties & Tariffs: Truly Exorbitant.”

Source: Legit.ng

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