Foreign Airlines Have $221m Trapped in Nigeria- IATA

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Vice President of International Air Transport Association (IATA), Raphale Kuuchi, at an aviation meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, on Monday said foreign airlines have $221 million trapped in Nigeria and $1.2 billion in Africa.

Kuuchi said airlines were in talks with a few countries to unblock the funds.

The crash in the global prices of commodities had reduced government’s revenue in commodity-based economies and led to dollar shortages, putting local currencies under pressure.

This made it difficult for foreign airlines to repatriate their dollar profits in full.

In 2016, airlines like Emirates complained about the difficulty in repatriating foreign currency on naira-dominated tickets sold in the country.

“To do business effectively, airlines must be able to reliably repatriate their revenues. And that’s not the case in nine African countries: Angola, Algeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan and Zimbabwe Adefunke Adeyemi, an IATA official told Reuters.

Of the total of $1.2 billion, Angola has blocked the largest amount, $500 million, while Sudan has held up $200 million, another IATA official, Adefunke Adeyemi, told Reuters.

Last year Nigeria owed airliners $600 million but as of October the amount had fallen to $221 million, she said.