L-R: Dr. Emmanuel Meribole,Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Aviation; Sen. Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation and Dr. Samson Fatokun, IATA's Area Manager West and Central Africa during the meeting with IATA, NANTA and foreign airlines on Blocked Fund issue in Abuja today

The International Air Transport Association( IATA) has disclosed that the trapped funds belonging to foreign airlines operating in Nigeria have risen to $743,721,097 from $662m in January 2023.

The world airlines body made this known in a letter addressed to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, signed by the Area Manager West and Central Africa, Dr Samson Fatokun, and obtained by our correspondent.

He said the global airline community would like to appeal to the Honourable Minister for special intervention in resolving airlines blocked funds issues in Nigeria. 

According to him,  the airlines are facing collateral damage and the average Nigeria is bearing the brunt of this issue.

In a swift response however, the Ministry of Aviation, in a statement from Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs, Odutayo Oluseyi has expressed concern over the present situation promising its best to resolve the matter.

According to the letter, IATA and the global airline community is  seeking an invention from the minister for the resolution of airlines blocked funds issues in Nigeria.

“For over a year, Nigeria has been the country with the highest amount of airline-blocked funds in the world. Please find attached the comparative table of airlines’ blocked funds by country.

“Moreover, as of January 2023, airlines’ blocked funds in Nigeria have increased to $743.721.092 from $662m in January 2023 and $549m in December 2022.” it said.

Minister of Aviation who according to the statement met with IATA and Foreign airlines operators to discuss the salient issues affecting the organizations and the country 

assured them that the aviation Ministry is concerned, and will do her very best to resolve the matter of blocked funds as soon as possible. 

He stated that  the issue of blocked funds sits with the Central Bank of Nigeria and it is not what the ministry can handle alone else it would have been resolved number

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