South African Airline Rejects Naira, Asks Nigerian Passengers to Pay in Dollars, Gives Reasons

South African Airline Rejects Naira, Asks Nigerian Passengers to Pay in Dollars, Gives Reasons

  • South African airline has decided not to collect Naira from Nigerians looking to use its airline
  • The airline has revealed it will only prefer its passengers from Nigerians to pay in US dollars
  • The development is coming amid millions of dollars of foreign airline funds trapped in Nigeria

The Southern African carrier has declared that it will no longer process tickets bought from outside Nigeria in Naira.

It noted passengers can only issue Sold Inside Ticketed Inside (SITI), that is, trips emanating from Lagos-Johannesburg-Lagos tickets in naira.

In other words, all tickets issued in Nigeria will be paid for in naira according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policy that tickets issued in the country should be paid for in naira.

South African airline rejects Naira
South Africa flag in airplane tail Credit: ugurhan
Source: Getty Images

The airline disclosed this in a statement issued on Wednesday, 10 August 2022 and addressed to its trade partners, Nigerian tribune reports.

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The airline, however, added that all other tickets, such as Sold Outside Ticket Inside (SOTI) and Sold Outside Ticketed Outside (SOTO), that is, tickets issued outside, would be paid for in dollars.

The development is coming amid $450 million trapped funds belonging to the foreign carriers operating in Nigeria.

In the notice issued to its trade partners, the airline stated:

“Please be informed that effective from Wednesday 10th August 2022, you can ONLY issue SITI (i.e. LOS-JNB-LOS) tickets in Naira. ALL other tickets, i.e. SOTI and SOTO, have to be issued in USD."

The airline will be hoping its decision will make it seamless for its funds to be repatriated to its home country rather than getting them trapped in Nigeria.

Emirate airlines reduce flight

Early this month, Dubai's Emirates announced plans to reduce flights to Nigeria this month over challenges it is experiencing repatriating revenue from the country.

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The Sun Newspaper reports that the airline companies to the federal government that $85 million of its revenue are stuck in the country as of July, a figure that had been rising by $10 million per month.

CBN preaches hope as Naira falls to its lowest level in history to US dollars

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria has assured Nigerians that the current Naira depreciation will soon be over.

The assurance comes from Michael Adebayo Adebiyi, CBN’s director, the research department at the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

He gave various reasons why Nigerians should be hopeful in the coming months while listing policies in place.


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