The Central Bank of Nigeria said it has disbursed $61.64 million to foreign airlines through deposit money banks.
According to a statement by its Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Hakama Sidi-Ali, in Abuja on Sunday, the disbursement is in fulfilment of CBN’s commitment to eliminate the backlog of pending mature foreign exchange in DMBs.
Mrs 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.
This led to the International Air Transport Association threatening that some foreign airlines may be forced to quit Nigeria if nothing was done about the monies, which are majorly from ticket revenue
The association said that the Nigerian government was currently holding the highest amount of airline-trapped funds globally.