THE Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, has frowned at the alleged insistence of some foreign airlines to sell their tickets in dollars.
Nnaji, who, in a statement, expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for releasing more than half of the trapped foreign airlines’ funds, urged the foreign carriers to discontinue the dollar-denominated practice to save passengers from undue pressure.
He also acknowledged the efforts of the ministries of Aviation and Finance, as well as those of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for their roles in making the release of the funds possible.
The CBN had on Friday August 26, 2022 allocated the sum of $265 million to airlines operating in the country to settle outstanding ticket sales monies.
A breakdown of the figure indicated that the sum of $230 million was released as special forex (FX) intervention, while another sum of $35 million was released through the retail secondary market intervention sales (SMIS) auction.
Nnaji also expressed thanks to the Speaker and the leadership of the House of Representatives for, as he put it, always responding swiftly to the matters affecting the industry.
He urged the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the member airlines to show understanding by rescinding some of the actions they had taken against Nigeria.
He said, “As representatives of the Nigerian people, the House leadership and members of my Committee will continue to dialogue with the executives to ensure robust air transport economy in our country.”
Nnaji stressed that while the relevant organs of government were making efforts to liquidate the remaining balance, sufficient arrangements should be put in place to avoid a reoccurrence of such circumstances.
He appealed to the airlines to make efforts to bring down their fares on Nigerian routes, noting that investigations had shown that Nigerian travellers pay higher fares on international routes more than any country does in Africa.
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