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CBN Releases $29.2m Out Of $812.2m Trapped Funds Of Emirates, Lufthansa, Other Foreign Airlines



The International Air Transport Association said the funds belonging to foreign airlines, which had been trapped in the Central Bank of Nigeria had reduced to $783m as of August 2023.

In June, IATA had said that out of over $2bn trapped funds globally as of April, Nigeria accounted for $812.2m.

But with the latest update from the association, the country has cleared $29.2m of the backlogs, analysis reveals.

Some of the airline’s with trapped funds are Emirates Airline, Lufthansa, British Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways and Air France among others.

IATA’s Regional Vice-President for Africa and Middle East, Kamil Al Awadhi while disclosing the developments on the forex backlog, said he has got the commitment of the Federal Government to clear the balance overtime.

IATA said in a statement that, “Al Awadhi also met with Nigeria’s new Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, the Honorable Minister Festus Keyamo, during which he called on the new government for continued, but closer, consultation with the industry while developing short- and long-term solutions for foreign exchange access to both domestic and foreign carriers.

“As of August 2023, Nigeria accounts for $783m of airlines’ blocked funds.”

Foreign Airlines like Emirates Airlines had closed operations in Nigeria last year over its inability to repatriate funds.

Domestic airlines in Nigeria also have blocked funds with the Central Bank, according to Air Peace founder and Chief Executive Officer, Allen Onyema.

Last week, it was reported that Onyema cautioned President Bola Ahmed Tinubu against favouring Emirates Arline and other foreign airlines at the detriment of local airlines.

The Aviation Minister, Keyamo hinted at an event in South Africa that he met with Emirate and Etihad over issues of their trapped funds