November 29, 2022

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Femi Gbajabiamila offers a guarantee for repatriating airlines funds, demands the resumption of ticket sales

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Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker House of Representatives

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, has appealed to the foreign airlines operating in Nigeria “to show some good faith and open up your portals for business to continue as usual so that Nigerians can purchase your tickets and our travelling agents can work”.

The Speaker made the appeal at a meeting with the representatives of foreign airlines, representatives of the International Air Transport Association, IATA, the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agents, NANTA, and Airlines Operators of Nigeria, AON, among other stakeholders.

The meeting held in Abuja on Monday, 17th October 2022, was meant to find ways and means to end the impasse in respect of funds of some of the foreign airlines with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yet to be repatriated. Coincidentally, the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, and the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed could not be present hence the meeting was adjourned to Thursday, 20th October 2022.

The Speaker confirmed that the two government officials, CBN Governor and the Finance Minister, could not turn up for the meeting because they were at a retreat for members of the Federal Executive Council, FEC.

Hon Gbajabiamila told his guests that, “the Governor of the CBN and the Minister of Finance are not here today because they are in the ministerial retreat ongoing in the Presidential Villa”.

He however expressed satisfaction with what the meeting had achieved despite the absence of the Finance Minister and the CBN Governor.

Gbajabiamila enthused, “I am glad that we have taken your submissions. There are a lot of things to unbundle and we have rescheduled the meeting so we can chart a way forward”.

Hence he appealed to the foreign airliners thus, “While we try to look for solutions, I will plead with the foreign airlines to show some good faith and open up your portals for business to continue as usual”.

Gbajabiamila however assured all parties concerned in various upheavals bedevilling aviation in Nigeria that, “While you go back to status quo, we will look for how you can repatriate your funds. If it requires a special intervention or whatever, we will find a way to deal with it,’’ he said.

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