Emirates Airline said that for the time being, it would not be traveling back to Nigeria because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has not yet made available 50% of the funds authorized for paying off its backlog.
Recall that on September 1, Emirates Airline suspended all flights to Nigeria but reinstated it after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced the release of $260m to clear part of the outstanding funds.
Four months later (December 2022) Emirates Airline again suspended all Nigerian Flights indefinitely due to $700m trapped funds.
At the time, Emirates disclosed that despite promises of allocation by CBN, nothing has been done about the trapped funds which is still rising, hitting $700 million, about 51 percent from the $346 million in September 2022.
Reporting reaching KanyiDaily indicates that the number of flights available to Nigerian travelers will continue to decline until the federal government adopts a dedicated plan to provide concrete action for the fund repatriation.
According to a statement by Emirate, the government has yet to take concrete actions to ensure the repatriation of trapped funds, despite several solutions suggested by the airline.
Part of the statement reads,
“It has been five months since Emirates suspended operations to and from Nigeria, and during this time we have seen little progress in the clearing of our backlog of funds.”
“As of today, Emirates still has a substantial balance of blocked funds that is yet to be repatriated, and the progressive clearing of our backlog remains beset with constant delays.”
Today, around 50 percent of the amount approved for clearing within our backlog is still overdue for repatriation.
Emirates further added that unless there is a committed strategy by the federal government to deliver concrete action for the fund repatriation, air services for Nigerian travelers will continue to dwindle.
In other news, a serial Canadian visa scammer, Enock Ifeoluwa Ogungbamigbe, was on Friday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).