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Foreign Airlines’ Trapped Fund Jumps To $550m

IATA
IATA Regional Vice President for Africa and Middle East, Mr. Kamil Ala Wadhi
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December 06, (THEWILL) – The foreign airlines’ blocked funds in Nigeria, have hit $550 million while the funds trapped in Africa are estimated to be $1.1 billion.

The figures were revealed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Mr. Kamil Ala Wadhi, who paid the Chairman, House of Representative Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, a courtesy visit in his office, on Tuesday.

The Vice President also acknowledged the interest shown by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and Nnaji, towards finding solutions to the member airlines’ blocked funds in Nigeria.

He disclosed that within his regions, a total of $1.1b in airlines’ funds are blocked and half of these funds—$550 million—are held in Nigeria.

“I do appreciate your interventions and l urge you to continue to do more so that it can be quickly resolved”, he added.

Nnaji appealed to IATA to prevail on its member airlines to show understanding as the various organs of government were making efforts to ensure that their ticket proceeds are duly remitted.

He reminded his guest that the prevailing situation was in consonance with the global economic meltdown, assuring him that the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had put in place a mechanism for the liquidation of the blocked funds.

Nnaji told the IATA Vice President that the Federal Government has made tremendous investments in the aviation sector to improve the security and safety of air transportation in the country.

He also praised the association for its contributions to the safety of air travel through its Operational Safety Programmes (IOSA), which a number of Nigerian airlines have benefited from.

It would be recalled that Nigeria had earlier released $425m foreign airlines’ fund while $175m is still pending.