Following the rejection of Nigerian Naira by Emirates Airline for air fare payments for a flight from Lagos to Brazil on Monday night, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has concluded plans to meet with foreign airlines operating in the country to address the issue.
The federal agency yesterday confirmed receiving complaints from some passengers over the rejection of naira and the demand for credit cards as the mode of payment for tickets.
The spokesperson of the NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, said passengers have the right to make payments in naira and that the agency is working to ensure compliance with this rule.
Industry experts are of the view that foreign airlines are facing some challenges, particularly the scarcity of foreign exchange and inability of foreign airlines to repatriate their funds.
According to him, “The truth is that the airlines are beginning to reject the naira because of the special circumstances that they have found themselves.
“In the BASA agreement, when you sell your tickets, you should be able to repatriate your money; but presently the airlines are finding it hard to take their money home.
“So, this problem has arisen now and we are looking at how to find a workable solution to it. We will be meeting with the airlines soon because this situation is exceptional and we cannot just wield the big stick against them,” he said.
The foreign airlines in the last one year have been facing difficulties on how to repatriate funds to the tune of $600 million. The introduction of foreign exchange flexible policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) notwithstanding, a substantial part of the fund remains stuck till date.