Nigeria’s forex crisis was again brought to the fore yesterday as Emirates airlines announced the suspension of its operations in Nigeria from September 1, 2022.
Foreign airlines operating in the country have expressed concern over their inability to repatriate their earnings from Nigeria. There’s been no change in the situation despite efforts that included reaching out to the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the Finance Ministry. “Regrettably there has been no progress. Therefore, Emirates has taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights to and from Nigeria, effective September 1, 2022, to limit further losses and impact on our operational costs that continue to accumulate in the market”, the airline said in its statement yesterday.
How much are we talking about here?
With the continued inability of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make the U.S. dollar available for funds repatriation by the airlines, the combined total of funds belonging to the airlines and which they’re unable to repatriate has reportedly risen to about $600m. While expressing regret over the inconvenience the suspension might cause customers, the airline said it would re-evaluate its decision if there were any positive developments regarding its blocked funds in the days ahead. “We remain keen to serve Nigeria, and our operations provide much-needed connectivity for Nigerian travelers”, it said.