Foreign Airlines Challenge CBN’s Claims on FX Backlog, Assert $700m Still Held Up

Foreign Airlines

Foreign airlines operating in the country have criticized the recent announcement made by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regarding the settlement of all outstanding backlog of valid foreign exchange claims.

On Wednesday, the CBN stated that it had resolved the remaining balance of $7 million in pending valid forex backlog. Additionally, in January of this year, the apex bank revealed that it had completed the payment of all verified claims by foreign airlines, amounting to an additional $64.44 million.

However, Kingsley Nwokoma, the President of the Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria (AFARN), expressed his doubts in an interview with Leadership on Thursday. Nwokoma claimed that approximately $700 million belonging to foreign airlines was still trapped in the country. He challenged the CBN to provide evidence of payment if they truly cleared the backlog of foreign exchange belonging to the foreign airlines.

Nwokoma emphasized that the CBN’s statement resembled previous assurances that were not fulfilled. He argued that if the CBN claimed to have cleared all forex backlog, including that of foreign airlines, they should easily provide evidence to substantiate their claim. Nwokoma further highlighted that the amount paid by the CBN remained the same, despite the foreign airlines’ ongoing complaints of being owed over $700 million.

In order to ensure transparency, Nwokoma urged the CBN to disclose the amount paid to each sector, including the foreign airlines, as transparency entails revealing the extent of payment.

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