The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said the foreign airlines trapped funds in Nigeria is $783 million.
According to Kamil Al Alwadhi, the IATA director general, said the amount represents the accumulates debt as of August, 2023.
This comes just as the IATA DG has welcomed the commitment of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to improving infrastructure and service levels at Lagos’s Murtala Muhammad International Airport within twelve months.
This follows a number of safety, security and passenger service level concerns in Lagos airport raised by IATA member airlines over the past year.
Last Friday, a high-level meeting between IATA and FAAN, represented by Kabir Yusuf Mohammed, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, culminated in the FAAN undertaking to expedite improvements in these areas under a corrective action plan.
Commending FAAN,.Al Alwadhi said:“We welcome FAAN’s commitment to upgrade Lagos airport. It is the main domestic and international hub connecting Nigeria with the rest of Africa and beyond and needs to keep up with demand. This strategic focus not only enhances the aviation sector but also serves as a catalyst for Nigeria’s broader economic and social advancement. IATA stands ready to support the FAAN with expertise to ensure international standards are met through the corrective action plan”.
Al Awadhi also met with Festus Keyamo, Nigeria’s new Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, during which he called on the President Bola Tinubu government for continued, but closer, consultation with the industry while developing short- and long-term solutions for foreign exchange access to both domestic and foreign airlines.
“Safety, security, and efficient infrastructure are critical for a well-functioning air transport system. So is the airlines’ ability to access the revenues they generate in Africa. These priorities are among the key elements addressed under IATA’s Focus Africa initiative to strengthen aviation’s contribution to Africa’s economic and social development. Nigeria’s focus on these issues reinforces their position among the leaders of African aviation,”Al Awadhi added.