The National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies has announced that the Federal Government has gradually started paying trapped funds of foreign airlines in the country through the Central Bank of Nigeria.
According to Nairametrics, this was revealed to journalists on Wednesday in Lagos by the NANTA President, Susan Akporiaye.
Although she was unable to provide specifics of the amount that had been so far disbursed to the more than 25 foreign airlines affected by the crisis, she however did claim that the government was disbursing the money “in trickles.”
Additionally, NANTA informed journalists in Lagos that certain foreign airlines had begun releasing their lesser inventory for sale after previously preventing travel brokers from purchasing them.
The International Air Transport Association estimates that as of February this year, Nigeria’s detained funds totaled $743,721,027 million.
Nigeria now ranks first among all nations in the world for locked funds.
According to IATA, the total trapped fund in Nigeria as of January was $662 million, and as of December 2023, it will be $549 million.
Akporiaye lamented that the travel agencies were one of the most affected by the dilemma of the trapped cash and emphasized the necessity for the government and the airlines to collaborate for the benefit of the traveling public.
“There is no complete stop; for example, someone anticipating $100,000 receives $10,000. Small payments are being made in trickles.
The minister of aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, never actually told us that some people received special treatment when we met with him.
“No, they’re all in the circumstance where it’s only in fragments. Although they still have a window of opportunity to submit their usual two-week bid, any offers are extremely insignificant.”
She continued by saying that NANTA was taking action to solve the airlines’ trapped funds, monopoly, unfair practices, border and visa problems, as well as a great deal of newly growing complexity.