September 27, 2022

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TRAPPED $600M AIRLINES FUND: CBN charged to denounce rumour of proposed Naira devaluation

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Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and an APC Presidential candidate who beat a hasty retreat before the ruling party’s primary

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has been called upon to provide comfort for foreign airline operators whose funds are trapped in the nation’s treasury by making a public pledge that the Naira will not be devalued.

Such public pronouncement has been said will reduce the anxieties exhibited by the foreign carriers who have in their various panicky decisions such as the reduction of capacity, and the astronomical increase in the airfare slammed on Nigerian travellers.

Mr Bernard Bankole, Managing Director, Finchglow Holdings, offered the advice when members of the League of Aviation and Airport Correspondents’, LAAC’s, seminar committee made a thank you visit to his corporate head office, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Senator Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s Aviation Minister

Mr Bankole said the increase in fares was a smart way for the foreign airlines to hedge their trapped funds in CBN.

He added that all the measures recently announced by the foreign airliners were subtle means to hedge their trapped fund with the CBN against the rumoured devaluation of the Naira

Hence, he called on the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to make a public pronouncement that the Nigerian currency would not be devalued hence, business collaborators and foreign partners will not be pressured into making the panicky decision in respect of their trapped funds.

Bernard Bankole, the former President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, NANTA, added that the foreign airliners would also appreciate an assurance from the federal government that all their trapped foreign currencies will be paid and also grant repatriation for the proceeds of their sales still domiciled with the CBN.

Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Nigeria’s Finance Minster

The travel management guru also put Nigerians on notice that if the present circumstances is not mitigated, the fare will still have no option but to continue on its upward trajectory which the current business environment is forcing it to thread.

According to Bernard Bankole, another rationale for the pervading inflation in air transport services is that, “air transport is dollar-denominated. So, if it is dollar-denominated, how can we ensure business success for our people? That is what we should be thinking about”, he charged industry leaders.

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