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Airlines’ trapped funds disrupt Nigerians’ ‘japa’ plans



International airlines have increased ticket prices as the amount of trapped funds in Nigeria increased to $802 million.

The development has forced many airlines avoiding collecting ticket sales proceeds in naira to reduce the amount of their money trapped in Nigeria.

Another approach involves blocking the lower inventory of cheaper tickets for Nigerians in naira and making the low-ticket inventories on most airlines’ websites available only for purchase with dollar cards.

Most of the website have also adjusted exchange rate for ticket sale from N462 per dollar to N551 per dollar.

As a result of this action, the cost of traveling out of Nigeria through its airports has gone up, compelling Nigerians with the dream of leaving the country to purchase tickets from agents in neighboring countries.

READ ALSO:Nigeria losing jobs, taxes, others to $551m foreign airlines’ trapped funds

Reacting to the development, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned the Nigerian government about the situation and is launching a new initiative called “Focus Africa” aimed at improving connectivity, safety, and reliability for passengers and shippers.

IATA has also engaged with the Nigerian government on the issue of trapped funds and will continue discussions with the incoming government due to be inaugurated in May.

Also the National President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agents (NANTA), Susan Akporiaye confirmed the development noting that Nigerians now travel across the borders in droves to connect cheaper flights to their destinations.

According to her, the forex crisis has led to unjustifiable profiteering by foreign carriers, because the lower inventories of airlines are now shut against Nigerians, but opened in other neighboring countries, thereby, forcing Nigerians to seek cheaper flights across borders.

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