Cape Town – Emirates announced on Thursday that it had put a hold on flights in and out of Nigeria because of its inability to repatriate funds from the West African country.
Based in Garhoud, Dubai, the airline is a subsidiary of The Emirates Group, which is owned by the government of Dubai’s Investment Corporation of Dubai.
Here’s why Emirates is suspending flights to Nigeria
– According to Emirates, the suspension became necessary because of its inability to repatriate its funds from Nigeria.
– Last month, Emirates asked Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s minister of aviation, to support the repatriation of its revenue, amounting to $85 million, according to The Cable.
– Nigeria’s aviation ministry says it is “working hard” to release trapped funds to the airline.
– The airline said there had been “no progress” in reaching Nigerian authorities for a solution.
Local Nigerian media is reporting that international carriers operating in Nigeria have repeatedly complained about their inability to repatriate funds to their home countries.
– According to Nigeria’s Punch Newspapers, blocked funds belonging to these airlines have risen to about $600m, thanks to the inability of the Central Bank of Nigeria to make the US dollar available for the carriers to repatriate.
– Nigeria is facing a foreign exchange crisis and this has seen the naira depreciate against the dollar.
– Interestingly, Africa’s most-populous nation has shown more interest in cryptocurrencies than any other country since the digital assets began to decline in April, according to a study by price tracker CoinGecko.