FG To Sanction Foreign Airlines Who Refuse To Sell In Naira

The Federal Government of Nigeria has threatened to sanction international airlines that are now refusing to sell tickets in naira.

Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, made this position known on Wednesday while fielding questions at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said intelligence reports indicated that some airlines are rejecting naira and charging their ticket fares in dollars, violating the nation’s laws.

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According to Mr. Hadi, some airlines have also blocked local travel agencies from accessing their websites for transactions.

Sirika disclosed that the Government of Nigeria had directed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to deal with any such airlines that are willfully breaching the country’s laws.

The Minister stated that the foreign airlines made over $1.1 billion from Nigeria in 2016, which could have been retained in the country if they were local airlines.

Sirika recollected that the airlines remitted over $600 million to their home countries in 2016. He also noted that over $265 million was released this year out of about $484 million due to them.

He said the government is trying to keep the airlines happy by ensuring that their money does not pile up again, saying that while the country needs their services, the airlines need the Nigerian market.

The Minister warned them to refrain from using social media to address their demands rather than resorting to diplomatic channels.

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