The trapped funds belonging to foreign airlines have now increased to $550million, despite the recent intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria to clear part of the funds.
The International Air Transport Association made this known on Tuesday, affirming that the fund is about half of the $1.1bn blocked funds in Africa and the Middle East.
IATA Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Kamil Ala Wadhi, disclosed this when he paid a courtesy visit to the House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Aviation, Rep. Nnolim Nnaji.
According to a statement from Nnaji’s office, he appealed to IATA to prevail on its member airlines to show understanding as the various organs of government were making efforts to ensure that their ticket proceeds were duly remitted.
Daily Trust reported that three months ago, the CBN intervened by releasing half of the trapped fund of about $450m then.
However, most of the airlines claimed they did not get the part payment and as a result, Emirates Airlines suspended flights to Nigeria while other airlines threatened to follow suit.
The committee chairman reminded his guests that the prevailing situation was in consonance with the global economic meltdown assuring him that the federal government through the CBN had put certain measures in place for the liquidation of the blocked funds.