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Blocked Funds: IATA appeals for special intervention as Sirika says issue beyond the ministry

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has appealed to the Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika for special intervention in resolving of airline blocked funds issues in Nigeria. 

IATA’s area Manager West and Central Africa, Dr Samson Fatokun who made the appeal during a meeting with Foreign airlines operators with the minister to discuss the salient issues affecting the organizations and the country said, the airlines are facing the collateral damage and the average Nigeria is bearing the brunt of this issue.

He expressed gratitude to the Minister for his continuous support for the growth of air transport in Nigeria and for the actualization of his role as catalyst for the growth of the Nigerian economy. 

In a statement, the Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs, Odutayo Oluseyi said, while stating Nigeria’s commitment to the Bilateral Air Service Agreement, the aviation minister assured them that the Ministry is concerned, and will do her very best to resolve the matter of blocked funds as soon as possible. 

He stated further that the issue of blocked funds sits with the Central Bank of Nigeria and it is not what the ministry can handle alone else it would have been resolved immediately. 

Sirika urged the International Airline Operators to be considerate when dealing with the issue bearing in mind the effects of Covid 19 and recession the country had experienced.

Also speaking, President National Association of Nigerian travel Agencies (NANTA) Mrs. Susan Akporiaye said,  “Is a very difficult time for us as some of us are already giving up on the industry and going into other business. It is our loss and also the loss of the country as we don’t sell more ticket like we use to, and this will further increase the unemployment situation if this issue is not attended to’’

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