Foreign airlines operating in Nigeria have been reassured that the federal government is not relenting on its oars but working assiduously to ensure the liquidation of their funds in the treasury.
Capt Musa Shuaibu Nuhu, Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, who gave the assurance at the sideline of the parley with airlines and ground handlers, Tuesday, in Abuja, said the delay in the funds’ repatriation was not deliberate.
The DG said he knew that in spite of the first tranche paid, some government officials such as the Aviation Minister, Sen Hadi Sirika, Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, and the Governor of Central Bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele are still having sleepless nights on how the outstanding will be liquidated at the shortest possible time.
Capt Nuhu also revealed that the government had begun working on a methodology to develop a mechanism which will henceforth prevent the ugly reoccurrence of trapped airlines’ funds.
Given the explanation for the rationale why the government is developing a mechanism to nip in the bud causes of delay in fund repatriation, especially by foreign airlines, Nuhu said, “airlines are businesses like any other business that investors make money and the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) arrangement states that they should be allowed to repatriate their funds without hindrance”.
Asked about a specific date the next and perhaps the final tranche of the trapped fund will be settled, Nuhu said, “I don’t have the slightest idea. My prayer is that it should be released like yesterday.”
He further acknowledged that “Nigeria currently has some challenges with the issue of foreign exchange, but we hope it is released as soon as possible so that normal services can resume and not be interrupted”, he said.
On the importance of aviation to the economy and to the lives of Nigerians, the DG opined, “Nigerians travel a lot and air transport is critical for the economy of our country. So, we hope these funds are paid as soon as possible”, Capt Musa NUhu opined.Share