Nigeria, 8 others blocking foreign airlines’ $1.2bn

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Nigeria and eight other African countries including; Angola, Algeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Mozambique,Sudan and Zimbabwe, have been accused of blocking global airlines’ funds amounting to $1.2 billion.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said, Monday, that foreign airlines’ operations were being crippled following the failure to remit foreign exchange owed the carriers by governments of the named countries.

According to IATA, the global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked or trapped in nine African countries

At an aviation meeting in the Rwandan capital, IATA’s Vice President for Africa, Raphale Kuuchi, said that airlines were in talks with “a few governments to unblock airline funds”.

“To do business effectively, airlines must be able to reliably repatriate their revenues,” Kuuchi said, adding: “And that’s not the case in nine African countries: Angola, Algeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan and Zimbabwe.”

Of the total of $1.2 billion, Angola has blocked the largest amount, $500 million, while Sudan has held up $200 million, another IATA official, Adefunke Adeyemi, said.

Last year Nigeria owed airliners $600 million but as of October the amount had fallen to $221 million, she added.

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