The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the disbursement of $61.64 million to foreign airlines via various Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) as part of its commitment to clear the backlog of matured foreign exchange in DMBs.
According to the Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mrs. Hakama Sidi-Ali, this disbursement aligns with the CBN’s dedication to reducing its outstanding liabilities to these airlines, aiming to address pending obligations and enhance the functional forex market.
In the last three months, the CBN has redeemed nearly $2 billion in outstanding forward liabilities, demonstrating its commitment to resolving pending obligations and stabilising the exchange rate. This move is expected to relieve pressure on Nigeria’s exchange rate and enhance confidence in the economy, boosting the Naira against major global currencies.
The trapped funds of foreign airlines in Nigeria total approximately $800 million, prompting concerns from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). They warned of potential exits from the Nigerian market if the issue, primarily arising from ticket revenue, remains unaddressed. Currently, Nigeria holds the highest amount of airline-trapped funds globally, as per IATA.
This effort by the CBN is a step towards alleviating this concern, aiming to address pending obligations and improve the forex market’s functionality, enhancing investor confidence in Nigeria’s economy.