On Friday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disbursed $265m to airlines operating in the country in an effort to settle outstanding ticket sales and avert a looming crisis in the aviation sector.
According to a statement released by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, Governor Godwin Emefiele and his staff are worried about the development and what it could mean for the sector, for travelers, and for the country’s standing among other nations.
The sum total was broken down as follows: $230m was made available through a special foreign exchange intervention, and another $35m was made available through a Retail SMIS auction.
Nwanisobi restated that the bank did not object to any corporation removing its cash from the nation, adding that the bank supported an orderly exit for any companies that were considering doing so.
Some airlines had threatened to cease their services due to unremitted cash for pending ticket sales, thus CBN expects both operators and travelers to breathe a sigh of relief upon Friday’s release.
Foreign airlines operating in the country have made hundreds of millions of dollars, but have been unable to repatriate the funds due to foreign exchange scarcity issues, prompting widespread public concern and a flurry of responses.