Anambra APC Chieftain, Nze Duru, Hails Ejidike-Led Exco
Nze Duru

Forex Backlogs: APC Chieftain, Nze Duru, Calls On CBN To Investigate Foreign Airlines’ Claim Of Unpaid $700m

4 months ago
2 mins read

Deputy National Organizing Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nze Duru, has called on President Bola Tinubu and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, to intervene and order a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding settlement of unpaid foreign exchange (forex) claims to foreign airlines in Nigeria.

Nze Duru’s call followed denial by foreign airlines of receiving their foreign exchange claims of about $700 million from the CBN.

Prime Business Africa reports that the CBN had on Wednesday announced that it has settled all forex backlogs of about $7 billion that the new administration of the apex bank inherited.

CBN acting director of corporate communications, Hakama Sidi Ali, on Wednesday disclosed in a statement that the apex bank recently concluded the payment of $1.5 billion to settle obligations to bank customers.

However, according to media reports,  President, Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria, (AFARN), Kingsley Nwokoma, claimed that nothing has been done about their trapped funds.

READ ALSO: Naira Rebound To N1,400, CBN Clearing Of FX Backlogs: It’s Not Yet Time For Celebration – Expert  

Nze Duru in a statement via his official X handle, titled “A Call on the CBN to Investigate Exploitative Foreign Airlines and Their Banks”, underscored the need for the CBN to properly investigate the banks through which the foreign airlines’ forex were purportedly cleared.

His statement reads: “Not a few Nigerians, including my good self, heaved a sigh of relief when the Central Bank of Nigeria announced that it had cleared the more than $7bn backlog of unpaid foreign exchange commitments to businesses and banks. The clearance was a sure sign of how serious the federal government is about redeeming the strength and glory of the Naira relative to the dollar and other international currencies.

“Nonetheless, since then, foreign airline operators have sustained a strident denial of the clearance as they insisted that they had not received their own foreign exchange claims of about $700 million from the CBN.”

Duru, who is also the Chairman of Grand Towers, criticised the manner in which the foreign airlines engage with the Nigerian public describing it as “abysmal and smacks of blackmail.”

“I recall that it is on account of this forex backlog that the foreign airline operators deliberately locked out Nigerians from accessing all categories of cheap tickets and, thereby, making foreign travels excruciating experiences for travellers.”

He further contended that the foreign airlines seems to be economical with the truth about clearance of the forex backlogs, adding that they should also be investigated for economic sabotage.

“Meanwhile, it is becoming apparent that the airline operators have not been upfront with the whole truth about the clearance of the forex backlogs with the Nigerian people. Reports suggest that the backlogs had been cleared to a remnant of $29 million which had also been reportedly cleared through respective banks of the airlines.

“I believe it is hightime this deliberate and wicked exploitation of the Nigerian people by the airline operators stopped. We should not be made to suffer for the operational deficiencies of the banks.

“And to immediately assuage the growing tension between the airline operators and the CBN, I request the Governor of CBN and His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to intervene by ordering a thorough investigation of the banks through which the foreign airlines’ forex were purportedly cleared.

“The airlines must also be investigated for economic sabotage with intent at underminng the value of Nigeria’s foreign reserves through exorbitant pricing of their tickets. Appropriate sanctions must also be applied to serve notice on would be exploiters that Nigeria, under President Tinubu, means business,” Duru, a seasoned entrepreneur added.



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