$600m trapped funds: Tinubu directs CBN to meet foreign airlines

President Bola Tinubu has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to create a platform for quarterly reconciliatory meetings with foreign airlines to address the backlog of trapped funds in excess of $600 million.

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo, who disclosed news of the reconciliatory meeting at the ongoing African Aviation Summit in Abuja, said the development was one of the reasons President Tinubu travelled to the United Arab Emirates, UAE.

He also unveiled three roadmap projects, which include Aerotropolis, aircraft leasing Company, ALC, and Maintenance Repair and Overhaul, MRO, facility, as well as five focus areas to realise the country’s vision of becoming an aviation hub in Africa.

He said government will ensure the enforcement of contract agreements and the rights of investors as all parties are protected and Nigeria being a signatory to the Cape Town Convention will uphold international obligations.

The Aviation and Aerospace Development Minister also assured that the Tinubu administration is committed to ensuring that forex is readily available to entrepreneurs.

At the summit, the International Air Transport Association, IATA, criticized Nigeria over multiple charges imposed on airlines operating in the country and withholding of their dollar funds earned from operations.

IATA’s, Vice President, Africa and Middle East, Kamil Al Alwadi lamented over the stunted growth of aviation in the region, especially Nigeria, and called on the Nigerian government to create a conducive environment for airlines to thrive.