The International Air Transport Association (IATA) have disclosed that Nigeria owes $812.2 million out of $2.27 billion trapped funds, making it the country with the highest trapped funds globally.
The association warned that rapidly rising levels of blocked funds are a threat to airline connectivity in the affected markets.
This was disclosed by IATA in a statement emailed on Sunday.
The top five countries that account for 68.0 percent of blocked funds include Nigeria ($812.2 million), Bangladesh ($214.1 million), Algeria ($196.3 million), Pakistan ($188.2 million) and Lebanon ($141.2 million).
The industry’s blocked funds have increased by 47 percent to $2.27 billion in April 2023 from $1.55 billion in April 2022, IATA said.
“Airlines cannot continue to offer services in markets where they are unable to repatriate the revenues arising from their commercial activities in those markets. Governments need to work with industry to resolve this situation so airlines can continue to provide the connectivity that is vital to driving economic activity and job creation,” Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General said.
IATA urged governments to abide by international agreements and treaty obligations to enable airlines to repatriate these funds arising from the sale of tickets, cargo space, and other activities.