Foreign airlines discontent with $61M Nigeria payment, consider reassessing operations


Foreign airlines operating in Nigeria have expressed disappointment over the federal government’s $61 million payment as the first installment to offset the $800 million revenue trapped in the country.

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The airlines deem the amount insufficient and hint at reassessing their operations in Nigeria, criticizing the government for not prioritizing the payment of blocked funds. President of the Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria (AFARN), Dr. Kingsley Nwokoma, warned that continued delays might lead some airlines to follow Etihad and Emirates Airlines in withdrawing services from Nigeria.

He emphasized the need for a clear payment plan to address the crisis and urged the government to honor its Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) commitments.

Nwokoma called for quarterly payments and stressed the impact of the situation on airfares, leading to potential loss of travelers to neighboring African countries with lower fares.

The Central Bank of Nigeria recently disbursed $61 million to foreign airlines, a move criticized as insufficient to address the larger issue.

The airlines call for government discussions on payment modalities to facilitate progress in resolving the crisis.

Gbenga Samson
Gbenga Samson
Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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