The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed the release of $61.64 million to foreign airlines through various Deposit Money Banks (DMBs). The disbursement, as stated by Hakama Sidi-Ali, the acting director of Corporate Communications in Abuja, aligns with the CBN’s commitment to clearing pending matured foreign exchange held in DMBs.
This move is part of the CBN’s broader strategy to diminish outstanding liabilities with airlines, an initiative that has seen nearly $2 billion in outstanding forward liabilities redeemed over the past three months.
Ms. Sidi-Ali emphasized that these actions highlight the CBN’s resolve to address pending obligations, ensuring a more robust foreign exchange system. The aim is to relieve pressure on the country’s exchange rate, ultimately enhancing the Naira’s standing against global currencies and fostering increased confidence among investors in Nigeria’s economy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the total sum of foreign airlines’ trapped funds in Nigeria stands at approximately $800 million. This situation prompted the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to issue a warning, suggesting that if the issue of these funds, predominantly from ticket revenue, remains unaddressed, some foreign airlines might consider withdrawing from Nigerian markets.
IATA highlighted Nigeria’s government as holding the largest amount of airline-trapped funds globally, underscoring the urgency of resolving this issue to ensure the stability of the aviation industry within the country.