CBN pays $64m airlines’ forex backlog

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has paid an additional $64.44 million out of the trapped funds belonging to airlines.

The apex bank said the payment was the final settlement of the verified foreign exchange (forex) owed to all foreign airlines operating in the country.

Yesterday’s payment brought the disbursements to the airlines to $136.73 million as verified claims within the sector.

But the International Air Transport Association (IATA) insisted that over $700 million of the airlines’ funds was trapped in commercial banks.

Reacting to the CBN claim that the $64.44 million was the final tranche of the airlines’ verified claim, the global body disagreed with the apex bank.

The CBN confirmed the payment in a statement by its acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mrs. Hakama Sidi Ali.

The statement reads: “The Central Bank of Nigeria, fulfilling its pledge to clear the backlog of foreign exchange owed foreign airlines in the country, has concluded the payment of all verified claims by airlines with an additional $64.44 million to the concerned airlines.

“This development underlines the CBN’s commitment to resolving outstanding FX obligations across all sectors.”

Mrs. Sidi Ali added: “The CBN Governor, Dr. Olayemi Cardoso and his team are doubly committed to clearing the entire backlog and restoring confidence in the market. The airline sector payment signifies a major step towards achieving this goal.

“Beyond settling existing debts, the CBN is actively working with stakeholders to enhance liquidity within the FX market, aiming to alleviate pressure on the naira.”



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