…for settling outstanding ticket sales
To check the looming crisis in the country’s aviation sector, Central Bank of Nigeria on Friday released the sum of $265 million to airlines to settle outstanding ticket sales.
Last week’s announcement by the Middle East mega carrier, Emirates Airlines, to suspend flights to Nigeria has triggered a lot of reactions both within and outside the country and brought to the fore the critical role air transport plays in the economy of any nation.
What prompted Emirates’ decision to issue the threat was the over $95 million it could not repatriate from the country due to scarcity of dollars.
Trapped funds by airlines increased from $450 million in June this year to over $600 million by August.
A breakdown of the CBN latest intervention indicates that the sum of $230 million was released as special FX intervention while another sum of $35 million was released through Retail SMIS auction.
Confirming the release, the Director, Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi said the Governor, Godwin Emefiele and his team were concerned about the development and what it portends for the sector and travelers as well as the country in the comity of nations.
Mr. Nwanisobi reiterated that the Bank was not against any company repatriating its funds from the country, adding that what the Bank stood for was an orderly exit for those that might be interested in doing so.
With Friday’s release, it is expected that operators and travelers as well will heave huge sighs of relief, as some airlines had threatened to withdraw their services in the face of unremitted funds for outstanding sale of tickets.