The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, NANTA, has called on the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to intervene in releasing the trapped funds of foreign airlines operating in Nigeria which stood at over $450 million as at May 2022.
NANTA President, Mrs. Susan Akporiaye, made this call in a statement made available to newsmen.
She stated that NANTA as a strategic partner in the downstream aviation sector had over the years, appealed to the Federal Government through the CBN and the Aviation Ministry to consider the possibility of reducing the humongous trapped funds.
The foreign airlines may resort to taking out lower inventory in the system resulting in high cost of tickets from the Nigerian market. As a result of the situation the foreign airlines find themselves in, a six-hour trip to London may attract a fare rate of about $2,000 or more.
“Foreign airlines may also encourage tickets sold outside the country to flood Nigeria, thereby affecting the survival of Nigerian travel agents and consequent loss of taxes and levies from such transactions.
“As Nigerians, we are patriotic and have presented our country well in the global travel industry and rightly felt disturbed that Nigeria was on the brinks of a wrong narrative at the just-concluded 78th Annual General Meeting, AGM of International Air Transport Association, IATA in Doha, Qatar, on the account of airlines’ trapped funds.
“We are by this outing once again, appealing to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Ministry of Aviation and the office of the Vice-President to speedily intervene to bring down the amount of trapped funds to help resolve the operations of these airlines.
“The current development does not show Nigeria as a good business destination for an investor.
“With this situation, a bleak future more than the effects of the pandemic, awaits Nigeria travel trade operators if nothing concrete and effectual is done urgently to address this disturbing situation by the CBN.”