Relief To Foreign Airlines As CBN Releases $265m

CBN Approves Reduction In Banks' CRR

To stop an impending catastrophe in the nation’s aviation industry, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disbursed $265 million on Friday to airlines that operate there.

There have been significant objections and comments over the hundreds of millions of dollars that international airlines operating in the nation earned but were unable to remit home owing to issues with currency shortages.

Due to their inability to transfer money back to their home nations, foreign airlines operating in the nation have started increasing ticket prices and cutting back on flights. On September 1, 2022, Emirates Airlines stated that it will stop operating flights into Nigeria due to growing concerns that other airlines could take similar action.

The breakdown of the amount, according to the CBN, showed that $230 million was issued as special foreign currency intervention and another $35 million was distributed via the Retail SMIS auction.

The CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, revealed this in a statement and said the Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and his staff were worried about the development and what it portended for the industry, travelers, and the nation as a whole in the community of nations.

Nwanisobi retorted that the bank supported an orderly exit for anybody who could be interested in doing so, adding that the bank was not opposed to any corporation bringing money back to the nation.

“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, CBN said.

British Airways suspends ticket sales over trapped funds
United Kingdom mega carrier, British Airways, has stopped travel agents in Nigeria from selling their tickets amid the difficulty of foreign airlines to repatriate over $464m ticket sales proceeds to their respective home countries.

This came as the Central Bank of Nigeria on Friday announced the release of $265m out of the N464m trapped funds to the foreign carriers.

A breakdown of the figure indicates that the sum of $230m was released as a special FX intervention while another sum of $35m was released through the Retail SMIS auction.