Emirates Airlines states why it's not back in Nigeria and latest on unpaid trapped funds - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Monday 20 March 2023

Emirates Airlines states why it's not back in Nigeria and latest on unpaid trapped funds

In a recent statement of purpose and concern, Emirates Airlines which was very active in Nigerian Air Space, departed the country and suspended operations.

Of course many travellers anticipated it's return, but that has not been.

Few days ago, the airline through its Spokesperson, finally made its position known on why the airline, is yet to return to operations in Nigeria and also touched on the very touchy issue of unpaid trapped funds.

“It has been five months since Emirates suspended operations to and from Nigeria, and during this time we have seen little progress in the clearing of our backlog of funds. As of today, Emirates still has a substantial balance of blocked funds that have yet to be repatriated, and the progressive clearing our backlog remains beset with constant delays. Today, around 50% of the amount approved for clearing within our backlog is still overdue for repatriation. 

"We have made many concerted efforts to enable a swift return to Nigeria. We had proposed a number of solutions and measures to recover our funds, and engaged in dialogue with government stakeholders and industry bodies. Regretfully and despite many media reports of public assurances made at the highest levels, solutions continue to be stalled.
"We acknowledge that the wider aviation industry and the local value chain it supports in Nigeria face a similar market reality. However, unless there is a committed strategy by the local authorities to deliver concrete action, air services for travellers, for businesses seeking global market opportunities and for investments – all supported through air transport and critical to Nigeria’s economic recovery - will continue to dwindle. 

"We remain committed to finding a mutual resolution with the Nigerian government and Central Bank to repatriate the rest of our blocked funds in a swift manner, and provide a roadmap that includes firm measures to prevent future repatriation accumulation challenges and delays. We call on them to work with us, hand in hand, to ensure Nigerian travellers and businesses have unfettered connectivity and access to our global network.”    

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