International Air Transport Association (IATA), this week, declared that, foreign airlines operating in Nigeria are experiencing great difficulties in repatriating a $575 million revenue, gotten from ticket sales, due to restrictive foreign exchange (forex) policies.
The association made this known, at the two-day IATA African Aviation programme, Abuja, attended by, senior government officials and captains of industries.
Those in attendance were the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Muhtar Usman; the Deputy Regional Director, International Civil Aviation Organisation, Mr. Gaoussou Konate; and the Secretary General, African Civil Aviation Commission, Ms. Iyabo Sosina, 260 airlines and other IATA member countries all over the world.
The Area Manager, South West Africa, IATA, Dr. Samson Fatokun, listed Nigeria and Venezuela as two countries with the highest amounts of trapped airlines’ funds in the world, as the association lament the heavy tax imposed on travelers in Africa, describing these taxes as above the global standard.
Speaking at the event, the Vice-President, IATA, Raphael Kuuchi, condemned the $60 charged per international passenger in addition to the $20 charged for security and taxes on aviation fuel in Nigeria.
He stated, that, IATA is already discussing with the Federal Government to ensure that the problem regarding trapped fund is solved ,saying that, if not tackled, would continue to affect the growth of the aviation industry negatively.
Recall that earlier this year, senior officials of IATA had visited the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for the purpose of seeking an amicable solution to the problems of revenue repartration of airline funds back to their parent countries. Up till this moment, the outcome of that meeting is yet unknown.