FG pledges commitment to air travel agreements
The federal government has pledged its commitment to the over 100 Bilateral Air Service Agreements it signed with countries across the world.
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika pledged on Tuesday while meeting with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Foreign airlines operators to discuss the salient issues affecting the organizations and the country.
Sirika, at the meeting, assured IATA and the foreign carriers that his Ministry was concerned and will do her very best to resolve the matter of blocked funds as soon as possible.
The minister insisted that the issue of blocked funds sits with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and therefore not what the ministry of aviation can handle alone for tye trapped funds issue would have been resolved immediately.
He urged International Airline Operators to be very considerate when dealing with the issue bearing in mind the effects of Covid 19 and the recession the country had experienced.
Speaking earlier, the IATA area Manager for West and Central Africa, Dr Samson Fatokun who led the delegation expressed gratitude to the honourable 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.
On behalf of the global airline community, Fatokun appealed to the Minister for special intervention in resolving of the airlines’ blocked funds issues in Nigeria.
He lamented how the airlines were facing the collateral damage with the average Nigerian air traveler bearing the brunt of this issue.
Commenting on the occasion, the President, the National Association of Nigerian travel Agencies (NANTA), Susan Akporiaye, remarked: “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 tickets like we used to, and this will further increase the unemployment situation if this issue is not attended to’’