Minister accuses foreign airlines of rejecting Naira, block access to travel portals to travel agencies

  • Chides carriers for deploying social media to press for demands 


The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika has accused foreign airlines of blocking local travel agencies from accessing their websites for transactions, adding that intelligence reports indicated that some of the airlines are refusing Naira and charging their ticket fares in dollars in violation of the nation’s laws.

Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika

He vowed to sanction international airlines that it said are now refusing to sell tickets in naira.

Sirika made the disclosure while fielding questions at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

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Sirika disclosed that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has been directed to deal with any

such airlines that are wilfully breaching the country’s laws.

The Minister noted that the foreign airlines made over $1.1 billion from Nigeria in 2016, which could have been retained in the country if they were local airlines.

Sirika recalled that the airlines remitted over $600 million to their home countries in 2016 while over $265 million has also been released this year out of about $484 million due to them.

He said the government is trying to keep the airlines happy by ensuring that their money does not pile up again, saying that while the country needs their services, the airlines need the Nigerian market.

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The Minister warned them to refrain from using social media to press home their demands rather than resorting to diplomatic channels.

Wole Shadare