Friday, March 24, 2023

We’ll sanction airlines selling tickets in foreign currencies: Buhari regime 

The warning comes just a week after the Central Bank released $265 million of foreign airlines’ trapped funds.

• September 7, 2022
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika

The Nigerian government has warned that it will sanction foreign airlines that refuse to accept naira payment for flight tickets.

Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, issued this warning after the federal cabinet meeting on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. 

Mr Sirika alleged that intelligence reports had revealed that some of the airlines were refusing to sell in naira and instead charge ticket costs in dollars, in contravention of Nigerian rules.

He also revealed that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has been instructed to punish those found guilty of selling airline tickets in foreign currencies.

The warning comes just a week after the Central Bank of Nigeria released $265 million to foreign airlines in response to warnings by international carriers to halt operations in Nigeria over trapped funds.

Recall that media reports claimed that some foreign airlines flying into Nigeria were selling plane tickets in dollars, despite the country’s severe currency crisis.

The event was attributed to international airlines’ inability to repatriate revenues from ticket sales out of Nigeria due to currency constraints.

However, the apex bank issued $265 million to international airlines after Emirate Airlines and British Airways announced plans to suspend operations in Nigeria.

The minister also warned airlines against utilising social media to make their demands rather than going through diplomatic channels. 

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