Foreign airlines’ trapped funds hit $743m as Sirika expresses commitment to resolving issue

L-R: Dr. Emmanuel Meribole,Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Aviation; Sen. Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation and Dr. Samson Fatokun, IATA’s Area Manager West and Central Africa during the meeting with IATA, NANTA and foreign airlines on Blocked Fund issue in Abuja on Tuesday



Posted by Sade Williams


Minister of Aviation Sen. Hadi Sirika on Tuesday, met with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Foreign airlines operators to discuss the salient issues affecting the organizations and the country.

This is just as the trapped funds belonging to the foreign airlines in Nigeria has risen to $743 million.

While stating Nigeria’s commitment to the Bilateral Air Service Agreement, he assured them that the aviation Ministry is concerned, and will do her very best to resolve the matter of blocked funds as soon as possible.

He stated further that the issue of blocked funds sits with the Central Bank of Nigeria and it is not what the ministry can handle alone else it would have been resolved immediately.

He urged the International Airline Operators to be very considerate when dealing with the issue bearing in mind the effects of Covid 19 and recession the country had experienced.

In a statement by Odutayo Oluseyi, Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs,  Dr Samson Fatokun, area Manager West and Central Africa who led the delegation, earlier expressed gratitude to the honourable Minister for his continuous support for the growth of air transport in Nigeria and for the actualization of his role as catalyst for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

He said the global airline community would like to appeal to the Honourable Minister for special intervention in resolving of airline blocked funds issues in Nigeria.

He said the airlines are facing the collateral damage and the average Nigeria is bearing the brunt of this issue.

Susan Akporiaye, President National Association of Nigerian travel Agencies (NANTA) added that “Is a very difficult time for us as some of us are already giving up on the industry and going into other business. It is our loss and also the loss of the country as we don’t sell more ticket like we use to, and this will further increase the unemployment situation if this issue is not attended to’’



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