Senate asks CBN to release $717.4m trapped airlines’ funds


The Senate has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release the $717, 478, 606 airlines’ funds trapped in the country. The red chamber also called on the CBN to allocate $25 million to airlines operating in Nigeria at its dollar auction.

These resolutions were sequel to the consideration and adoption of a motion sponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Biodun Olujimi (PDP-Ekiti South), and presented by the Vice Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Bala Na’Allah (APC-Kebbi ) .

The upper chamber also called on the federal government to urgently reverse the current trend of increasing airlines blocked funds in Nigeria.

The Senate also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, to pay up the blocked funds belonging to airlines operating in the country.

The Upper Chamber made the request after Senator Bala Na’allah presented a motion during plenary session on Wednesday on the inability of airlines to repatriate their funds from Nigeria to support their operations.

According to Na’allah, the consequences of these blocked funds are that cheap tickets are not available in Nigeria. The reason, he said, was that taxes and inflation would have eroded the profit when the funds are kept for a long time, thereby making tickets very expensive.

The senator explained that another dire consequence of the inability of airlines to repatriate their monies was that airlines were folding and relocating to neighbouring countries, further worsening unemployment in the country.

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