The Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ART) has revealed its disappointment by the appalling handling of the accumulated foreign airline funds trapped in our banks, due to the non-allocation of forex to these airlines.

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According to the Round Table Initiative, in all Bilateral Air Services Agreement, an Article in the agreement regarding transfer of earnings, clearly states that “each designated airline shall have the right to convert and remit to its country on demand, local revenues in excess of sums locally disbursed. 

Conversion and remittance shall be permitted without delay in accordance with the prevailing foreign exchange regulations”. 

According to a press statement signed by Olumide Ohunayo, International trade is bound by agreements that are sacrosanct and respected. Nigeria cannot do otherwise if we crave the attention of investors in our industry.

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“It’s important to state that foreign airlines sold these tickets at the official IATA rate and cannot be expected to go to the parallel market to source, convert and remit as opined in some quarters, the central bank should do the needful as enshrined in the BASA agreements.”

“These funds should have been remitted at the official rate on the date of Sale immediately the Airlines get clearance  after paying all the local obligations including taxes.”

“The damage that our action has done to the Nigerian image as an investment-friendly nation is far-reaching, while the citizenry is faced with high fares, reduced capacity and limited traveling options, which will worsen if we continue on this trajectory.

We found ourselves in this unenviable situation because we lack the capacity to compete, which would have reduced the remittance volume.

The unborn Air Nigeria cannot produce this capacity, irrespective of the funds allocated, but by an aggregated process of developing our industry to produce vibrant flag carriers that will be courted for commercial partnerships which is the purveyor for successful international flight operations.”