5 months after suspension of flights to Nigeria, Emirates says funds still trapped with FG –

Shola Adekola, Lagos

Five months after Dubai-based airline Emirates suspended flights to Nigeria due to stranded funds, the federal government has revealed that the federal government has done nothing to release its backlog of stranded funds.

In a statement provided to aviation journalists on Friday, the airline regretted that repeated efforts to persuade the Nigerian government to release the funds had failed.

“Emirates has suspended operations to and from Nigeria for five months, during which time we have made little progress in clearing our backlog,” the airline said in a statement.

“As of today, Emirates still has significant frozen fund balances that have not yet been repatriated, and our progressive liquidation backlog continues to be plagued by ongoing delays. Today, around 50% of the amount approved for liquidation in our backlog remains unremitted.

“We have made many joint efforts to be able to return to Nigeria quickly. We have proposed a series of solutions and measures to recover our funds and engaged in dialogue with government stakeholders and industry bodies. Regrettably, Despite numerous media reports of public assurances from the highest levels, a solution has stalled.

“We acknowledge that the broader aviation industry and the local value chains it supports in Nigeria face similar market realities. However, unless local authorities adopt a firm strategy to take concrete action, there will be significant challenges for travelers, businesses seeking global market opportunities and Air services provided by investment – ​​all supported by air transport and critical to Nigeria’s economic recovery – will continue to decline.”

However, the airline committed to working “to find a mutual solution with the Nigerian government and central bank to expeditiously repatriate our remaining frozen funds and provide a roadmap that includes firm measures to prevent future repatriation challenges and delays from accumulating. We call on them to work with us to ensure unhindered connectivity and access to our global network for Nigerian travelers and businesses.”

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