The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has said that it has disbursed 61.64 million dollars to foreign airlines through various Deposit Money Banks, DMBs.
According to a statement issued by its Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mrs Hakama Sidi-Ali, in Abuja, on Sunday, the disbursement is in fulfilment of CBN’s commitment to eliminate the backlog of pending matured foreign exchange in DMBs.
Sidi-Ali said that the initiative was part of the CBN’s efforts to reduce its remaining liability to the airlines.
She said that in the past three months, the CBN had also redeemed outstanding forward liabilities of close to two billion dollars.
“This underscores the CBN ’s commitment to the resolution of pending obligations and a functional foreign exchange market.
“These payments signify CBN’s ongoing efforts to settle all remaining valid forward transactions, with the aim of alleviating the current pressure on the country’s exchange rate.
“It is anticipated that this initiative would provide a considerable boost to the Naira against other major world currencies and further increase investor confidence in the Nigerian economy,” she said.
The total trapped fund of foreign airlines in the country is pegged at about 800 million dollars.
This led to the International Air Transport Association, IATA, threatening that some foreign airlines might be forced to quit the Nigerian markets if nothing was done about the monies, which were majorly from ticket revenue.
The association said that the Nigerian government was already holding the highest amount of airline-trapped funds globally.