The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has confirmed that the bank will release $120 million to settle the trapped funds of international airlines operating in the country.
The CBN Governor revealed this on Monday during a meeting between the leadership of the House of Representatives, International Air Transportation Association, Airlines Operators of Nigeria and the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
The CBN governor relayed that the bank had in August resolved to release $265 million to the airlines; $110 million on the spot and the rest in 60 days.
Emiefele added that the remaining money will be released on 31 October.
He accused some countries like the United Arab Emirates of threatening Nigeria with visa ban and suspension of flight operations.
“We used our discretion to allocate $265 million to the foreign airlines, broken down into spot and forward. We did $110 million on the spot and the rest in 60 days forward.
“On that day, we allocated to IATA; $32 million through UBA. Qatar Airways; $22.8 million through Standard Chartered, Emirates; $19.6 million through Access Bank, British Airway; $5.5 million through GTB, Virgin Atlantic; $4.8 million through Zenith and others.
“How then can they go about and begin to say that they have not received money? This is an extra allocation. This is something I have told you (foreign airlines) that we will continue to do, so that you will not blackmail the country. $120 million will be due on the 31 of October,” he said.
Emiefele added that “I can print Naira, even though I have been accused of printing Naira but I cannot print dollar. We have to either earn it or borrow it.”