Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, has announced that around 50% of its revenue is trapped in the country due to foreign exchange restrictions and a lack of access to dollars.
The airline in a statement on Friday disclosed that all efforts it has made to resume operations in Nigeria in the last five months it suspended flights into the country have proved abortive.
Emirate added that it has been five months since it suspended operations to and from Nigeria, and during this time it has yet to see any progress in clearing its funds backlog.
Part of the statement reads: “Emirates still has a substantial balance of blocked funds that is yet to be repatriated, and the progressive clearing its backlog remains beset with constant delays.
“Today, around 50 percent of the amount approved for clearing within our backlog is still overdue for repatriation,” the airline stated.
According to the airline, it had made many concerted efforts to enable a swift return to Nigeria but all efforts have not yielded needed solutions.
“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,” the statement read.
The airline further stated that 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,” the airline added.