The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has ranked Nigeria top in the list of countries with blocked funds for airlines in the world.
In a statement on Wednesday issued on Wednesday, IATA at least $2.0 billion belonging to airlines had been blocked by governments across the word.
According to the agency, the top five markets with blocked funds (excluding Venezuela) are Nigeria: $551 million, Pakistan: $225 million, Bangladesh: $208 million, Lebanon: $144 million, and Algeria: $140 million.
IATA stressed that airline funds due for repatriation but blocked by governments had increased by more than 25 percent ($394 million) in the last six months.
It also noted that airline funds are being blocked from repatriation in more than 27 countries and territories.
For Nigeria, IATA said the repatriation issues arose in March 2020 when demand for foreign currency in the country outpaced supply and banks were unable to service currency repatriations.
The agency’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, expressed delight that the Nigerian authorities are working with the airlines to resolve the problem.
The Emirates Airline in October suspended flights to Nigeria over the blocked funds.
“Nigeria is an example of how government-industry engagement can resolve blocked funds issues. Working with the Nigerian House of Representatives, Central Bank, and the Minister of Aviation resulted in the release of $120 million for repatriation with the promise of a further release at the end of 2022.
“This encouraging progress demonstrates that, even in difficult circumstances, solutions can be found to clear blocked funds and ensure vital connectivity,” Kamil Al-Awadhi, IATA regional vice president for Africa and the Middle East said.
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
INVESTIGATION: 4 yrs after completion, Kwara PHC facility inactive, rural dwellers in pains
In the middle of the night sometime in September 2019, Fatimah Ballah struggled with severe pains as she tries to...
INVESTIGATION: How Oyo State, contractors spent N1.1bn on water projects, but communities don’t have a drop
Multimillion naira water projects largely initiated by the late Abiola Ajimobi-led state government in Oyo State to benefit over 40...
INVESTIGATION: In Cross River, civil servants retire into poverty as govt looks away, squanders funds on frivolities
Thousands of civil servants in Cross River State struggle to stay alive as they are denied their gratuities and monthly...
Students suffer as contractors abandon Kano school projects after receiving over N70m
In 2019, to improve the condition of public schools in Kano State, the Federal Government disbursed millions of naira to...
SPECIAL REPORT: World Bank road projects go bad in Enugu, as state govt fails to fulfill promise
Counterpart funded road projects between the world Bank and Enugu State government have started to fail, as the state government...