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Africa: AFARN Warns That Foreign Carriers May Go On Strike in Nigeria

The Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria (AFARN) has warned that foreign carriers operating into the country may go on strike due to the increasing balance of "trapped funds" in the country.

The grim warning was issued by Mr. Kingsley Nwokoma, who criticised the recent circa $61m disbursement as a drop in the ocean. He claims that balances now due foreign carriers are in excess of $800m. Eye watering figures indeed.

As we advised clients earlier in the week, the foreign airlines have indeed been hard done by - there is no doubt about that, but all things being equal this administration has inherited this situation and they have repeatedly intimated that they are liaising with the Central Bank and lobbying for funds to be released.

There has to be a more constructive lobby in order to impress on the CBN to release funds, we have to work with them and not threaten them as an industry, recall that there is general hard currency shortfall in the country and it is not just the aviation sector that is affected.

Such headline grabbing rhetoric will affect the already damaged image of Nigerian aviation further and will do the country no favours, no doubt these headlines have hit news wires globally already.

We also believe that the body has not formally agreed to strike so such rhetoric may not actually be supported - no matter how aggrieved those members may be - by a formal mandate.

We urge AFARN to exercise patience and proactively lobby the CBN via the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace.

A co-ordinated strike by all foreign carriers seems unlikely as the strike has to be binary and all inclusive, we do not see that happening.

In the meantime, we publicly support the AFARN grievance and continue to impress on the Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Mr. Festus Keyamo, to assist further to help clear the backlog of monies due - a backlog that this administration inherited through no fault of their own.

The industry has to lobby together if we are to get through these testing times.


Joanne Moore

dre aviation



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