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Foreign airlines staying in Nigeria, for now

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA – THE Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) release of US$265 million to foreign airlines has averted the withdrawal of these operators amid growing unremitted funds for their outstanding sale of tickets.

Some foreign airlines had raised alarm over their inability to remit their revenues in Africa’s biggest albeit struggling economy.

The revenues totaling about $450 million was among reasons Emirates Airlines announced plans to suspend all its flights to the West African country from September 1, over its stuck $95 million.

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has therefore hailed the CBN for its release of $265 million.

CNPP is the umbrella body of all registered political parties and political associations in the country.

“CBN’s $230 million special foreign exchange intervention and the release of the sum of $35 million through Retail SMIS auction have saved Nigeria from international embarrassment and ridicule,” Willy Ezugwu, CNPP Secretary General, said.

SMIS is acronym for Secondary Market Intervention Sales.

“Mr Godwin Emefiele and his team have indeed shown their deep concern about the ugly national development and the impact of what such international embarrassment portends for the sector and travellers as well as the country among the comity of nations.”

Emefiele is CBN governor.

“Without the consistent industry specific bailouts by the CBN, the country’s economy would have long collapsed,” Ezugwu said.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) of President Muhammadu Buhari has met mixed fortunes in its efforts to revive the economy since assuming power in 2015.

“No foreign investor can go into any country where its legitimate funds cannot be remitted in a hitch free manner,” Ezugwu said of the fallout with foreign airlines.

– CAJ News

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