98% of airlines’ trapped funds in Nigeria cleared — IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a top global trade association of airlines, has said that 98 per cent of airlines’ trapped funds in Nigeria have been cleared.

In a statement published on its website on Sunday, IATA acknowledged that significant progress has been achieved in repatriating trapped funds in Nigeria and from governments globally.

According to IATA’s Director General, Willie Walsh, as of June 2023, Nigeria’s blocked funds amounted to $850 million. He said this affected airline operations and finances in the country significantly.

He explained that carriers faced difficulties in repatriating revenues in US dollars, and that the high volume of blocked funds led some airlines to reduce their operations, while one carrier temporarily ceased operations to Nigeria, which severely impacted the country’s aviation industry.

“However, as of April 2024, 98% of these funds have been cleared. The remaining $19 million is due to the Central Bank’s ongoing verification of outstanding forward claims filed by the commercial banks,” the official said.

“We commend the new Nigerian government and the Central Bank of Nigeria for their efforts to resolve this issue. Individual Nigerians and the economy will all benefit from reliable air connectivity for which access to revenues is critical.

“We are on the right path and urge the government to clear the residual $19 million and continue prioritising aviation.”


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