Federal Government Slams Foreign Airlines Over Boycott Threats

The Federal Government has dismissed threats by foreign airlines to suspend operations in Nigeria over their inability to repatriate their blocked forex from the country.

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, stated that Nigeria would fare better should foreign airlines boycott the country, as the government has developed the capacity to face the challenges. Sirika made this known in Abuja at the continued negotiations following the intervention of the House of Representatives in the conflict between the Nigerian government and some operators under the International Air Transport Association.

Recall that Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, had called the roundtable over threats by Emirates Airline and British Airways to suspend their operations in Nigeria.

Sirika recalled that when the administration led by  President Muhammadu Buhari came into power in 2015, there were about $480million blocked in Nigeria. According to the minister, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, then said that the country would either earn or borrow forex. He noted that at that moment, the administration had not started borrowing. He stressed that Buhari asked Emefiele and the then Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Kemi Adeosun, to resolve the problem, which was done.