Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said relevant authorities are working towards addressing issues concerning revenue of foreign airlines that have been trapped in Nigeria, put at over $600 million.
Speaking during a facility tour at the new international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, yesterday, the minister said: “On the trapped funds, I can tell you that the relevant authorities are working hard on that issue.”
Emirates Airlines last week announced that it would stop all scheduled operations to Nigeria from September 1, 2022, if no action was taken by government to address airline’s revenues which it had been unable to repatriate, that have risen to about $95 million.
There are also indications that other foreign airlines might review their operations to Nigeria over their inability to repatriate their earnings from the country.
On delayed commencement of flight operations at the new Lagos terminal, the minister said there was need to first test-run the facility and be extremely certain that the equipment was working optimally before the terminal would be put to use.
The minister said the Chinese loan used to facilitate the building of the new terminal would be paid back, adding that the major challenge in Nigeria was that its tax to GDP ratio was so low because most Nigerians don’t pay tax.
He, however, appealed to Nigerians to help government by paying their taxes, so that there would be reduction in the deficit the country was experiencing.