Emirates Rules Out Return To Nigeria, Says CBN Yet To Release 50% Of Trapped Funds

Emirate Airline has ruled out return to Nigeria for the meantime, saying the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was yet to make available 50% of the amount approved for clearing within the backlog of it trapped fund.

In a press statement made available to Arabella Star Magazine, the Airline said unless there is a committed strategy by the federal government to deliver concrete action for fund repatraition, air services for Nigerian travellers will continue to dwindle.

According to Emirates, the government was yet to ensure concrete actions to ensure the repatriation of trapped funds despite several solutions suggested by the Airline.

The statement reads, “It has been five months since Emirates suspended operations to and from Nigeria, and during this time we have seen little progress in the clearing of our backlog of funds.

“As of today, Emirates still has a substantial balance of blocked funds that is yet to be repatriated, and the progressive clearing of our backlog remains beset with constant delays. Today, around 50% of the amount approved for clearing within our backlog is still overdue for repatriation.

“We have made many concerted efforts to enable a swift return to Nigeria. We had proposed a number of solutions and measures to recover our funds, and engaged in dialogue with government stakeholders and industry bodies. Regretfully and despite many media reports of public assurances made at the highest levels, solutions continue to be stalled. We acknowledge that the wider aviation industry and the local value chain it supports in Nigeria face a similar market reality.”

“However, unless there is a committed strategy by the local authorities to deliver concrete action, air services for travellers, for businesses seeking global market opportunities and for investments – all supported through air transport and critical to Nigeria’s economic recovery – will continue to dwindle.”

The airline, however, called on the CBN to work with the airline to return to Nigeria by ensuring repatraition of its trapped funds.

“We remain committed to finding a mutual resolution with the Nigerian government and Central Bank to repatriate the rest of our blocked funds in a swift manner, and provide a roadmap that includes firm measures to prevent future repatriation accumulation challenges and delays.

“We call on them to work with us, hand in hand, to ensure Nigerian travellers and businesses have unfettered connectivity and access to our global network,” is stated.

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