FEDERAL government through the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the has directed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to sanction any international airline selling their flight tickets with the United States Dollar while refusing the naira.
Sirika made this known on Wednesday while responding to questions after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Sirika said intelligence reports indicated that some of the airlines are refusing naira and charging their ticket fares in dollars in violation of the country’s laws, adding that NCAA had been mandated to deal with any of such airlines wilfully breaching the laws.
He stated some of the airlines have also blocked local travel agencies from accessing their websites for transactions.
He said the foreign airlines had made over $1.1 billion from Nigeria from 2016, which could have been retained in the country if they were local airlines.
The minister said the airlines remitted over $600 million to their home countries in 2016 while over $265 million had also been released this year out of about $484 million due to them.
According to Sirika, government is trying to keep the airlines happy by ensuring that their monies do not heap again, stating that while the country needs their services, the airlines need the Nigerian market.
Sirika also cautioned them to refrain from using the social media to press home their demands but to rather use the diplomatic channels