Forex challenge: More foreign airlines threaten to leave Nigeria

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Amid the prevailing foreign exchange challenges confronting major businesses in the country, the Association of Foreign Airlines’ Representatives in Nigeria (AFARN), has warned the Federal government that more of its member airlines operating in the country could close down their business if the current exchange rate which is not favourable to them persists.

It also said its members had yet to benefit from the concession granted to them to access foreign exchange at the inter-bank foreign exchange market.

AFARN President, Mr Kingsley Nwokoma, told the media in Lagos that the present exchange rate was seriously affecting their operations. The forex concession was granted to the airlines by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) following the intervention of the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika. Sirika had assured the airline operators that their difficulty in sourcing foreign exchange for their operations would ease as a result of the move.

However, Nwokoma said the dollar scarcity problem was still persisting, warning that more foreign airlines could close shop if the issue was not resolved as soon as possible.

He, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to hasten the ease of providing foreign exchange to the local and foreign airlines.

Nwokoma also said the AFARN was prepared to collaborate with stakeholders in the country to enhance the sustainable safety standards and policies in the aviation sector.

“There is need for stakeholders to collaborate in view of recent security developments in the world, in order to maintain safer skies. “Aviation is a sector that everybody should come together to grow, and we will all be proud of it.

“There are so many units that make up the industry and collaboration is key to moving the industry forward. We want performance but we must drive safety with it,” he added.

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