• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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IATA commends Nigeria for clearing $831m foreign airlines’ trapped funds

Investment key to future growth for African aviation – IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has commended the Nigerian government for clearing foreign airlines’ trapped funds of over $831 million.

A statement by Tunde Moshood, Special Assistant, Media and Communications to Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation, said that IATA gave the commendation on Tuesday at the ongoing ‘IATA Wings of Change Focus Africa,’ holding in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Kamil Al-Awadhi, the Regional Vice President, Africa and Middle East of IATA made the comment on behalf of the association, Moshood said in the statement.

Kamil noted that while the foreign trapped funds created negative impacts on the image of Nigeria, but lauded the Nigerian government for the swift response in addressing the issue.

Kamil explained that the clearance of the backlog had further brought confidence in Nigeria among the comity of nations in the global civil aviation.

Also, Keyamo, in his contribution at the plenary discussion on the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration (YD) and the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), advocated the inclusion of African Foreign Affairs Ministers in driving the full implementation and operationalisation of the YD and SAATM.

He argued that the fact that African Ministers of Foreign Affairs are responsible in drawing the Agenda of the African Union (AU) summit, it was pertinent for them to be sensitised of the need to bring the issue of YD and SAATM to the front burner for a political decision to be taken.

He explained that this would enable them to address the challenges besetting the full operationalization of the two policies.

He said: “To make SAATM work, it is not African Civil Aviation Ministers alone to drive them, we need to mobilise the African Union to remove the domestic restrictions, as the political leaders in Africa are the ones bestowed with the power to give directive to their ministers on the way forward.”