IATA Commends Nigeria For Clearing Backlog Of Foreign Airlines’ Trapped Funds

IATA Commends Nigeria For Clearing Backlog Of Foreign Airlines’ Trapped Funds

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has praised the Nigerian government for its swift action in clearing the backlog of foreign airlines’ trapped funds, amounting to over $831 million USD. This commendation was delivered by Mr. Kamil Al-Awadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, during his opening address at the IATA Wings of Change Focus Africa conference on July 2, 2024.

A statement signed Tunde Moshood, SA Media and Communications to the Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development says Mr. Al-Awadhi highlighted the negative impacts of trapped funds on foreign airlines in various countries and applauded Nigeria for its effective resolution of the issue. This decisive action by the Nigerian government has restored confidence in the country within the global civil aviation community. The commendation received widespread applause from participants, including top government officials, airline representatives, air navigation service providers, international and regional associations, aircraft manufacturers, and other stakeholders in global civil aviation.

In a related development, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), emphasized the critical role of African Foreign Affairs Ministers in the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration (YD) and the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM). During the plenary discussion, Mr. Keyamo advocated for the inclusion of Foreign Affairs Ministers in driving the full operationalization of these initiatives. He argued that since these ministers are responsible for setting the agenda for the African Union (AU) Summit, it is essential for them to prioritize the YD and SAATM to ensure political decisions are made to overcome existing challenges.

“To make SAATM work, it is not solely up to African Civil Aviation Ministers. We need to mobilize the African Union to remove domestic restrictions, as political leaders in Africa have the authority to direct their ministers on the way forward,” Mr. Keyamo stated. His recommendation was well-received by the conference participants as a strategic approach to achieving successful implementation and growth of civil aviation across Africa.

The IATA Wings of Change Focus Africa conference, themed “Towards a More Resilient and Sustainable African Aviation,” serves as a premier industry event in Africa. It gathers aviation leaders, regulators, and subject matter experts to discuss key challenges and opportunities in the air transport sector. The conference commenced on July 2 and will conclude on July 3, 2024.

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Albinus Chiedu

Albinus Chiedu is a journalist, aviation media consultant, events management professional, and author. He has practiced journalism since 2000.

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