Foreign airlines tackles FG on evidence of FX backlog Payment

Foreign airlines yesterday raised objection to the claim by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, that it has cleared all valid foreign exchange backlogs.

President of Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria, AFARN, Mr Kingsley Nwokeoma, who spoke to Vanguard, called for evidence of payment.

Nwokeoma said: “If they’ve paid, they should let us know how much has been paid. Where is the evidence of payment? They should show us evidence of payments and we will thank them because payment is what we want. The backlog of trapped funds made foreign airlines stop releasing low inventory tickets.

Nwokeoma also said although foreign airlines have been told to get their funds from the banks using the rate of the I & E window, they refused because the current I & E window rate differed from what they used in selling tickets

Last night, Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mrs Hakama Sidi Ali, in a statement, said CBN had concluded the payment of $1.5 billion to settle obligations to bank customers, effectively settling the residual balance of the FX backlog.

Ali stated: “The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced that all valid foreign exchange backlogs have now been settled, fulfilling a key pledge of the CBN Governor, Mr Olayemi Cardoso, to process an inherited backlog of $7bn in claims.

“Clearance of the foreign exchange transactions backlog is part of the overall strategy detailed in last month’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting to stabilise the exchange rate and thereby curb imported inflation, spurring confidence in the banking system and the economy.”

“With $812.2 million, Nigeria tops the countries that account for 68.0 per cent of blocked funds. Others are Bangladesh ($214.1 million), Algeria ($196.3 million), Pakistan ($188.2 million) and Lebanon ($141.2 million)”

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