Nigeria Senate Urges CBN to Release $700 Million Trapped Airline Funds
The Senate urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release $717,478,606 in trapped funds belonging to airlines operating in the country. They also requested that $25 million be allocated to these airlines at the regular dollar auction. These resolutions were made during a Senate session discussing the issue of blocked funds in Nigeria, with Senator Biodun Olujimi leading the motion. The Senate called on the government to reverse the increasing trend of blocked funds and directed President Muhammadu Buhari to instruct the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to pay the affected airlines. The Senate also appealed to the airlines not to withdraw their services during the ongoing efforts to resolve the matter. Nigeria has faced significant challenges in repatriating funds since January 2021, accounting for 44% of global blocked funds in February alone. The total blocked funds in Nigeria amounted to $717,478,606 as of March, including matured bids, pending bids, and cash balances in airlines’ accounts.