CBN dismisses allegation of forex starvation by foreign airlines

Posted by News Express | 29 March 2016 | 7,974 times

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has dismissed the claim by foreign airlines operating in the country that they are being denied foreign exchange by the apex bank.

CBN’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, told News Express late last night: “The airlines have not been denied forex. We have been meeting part of the demand for forex by airlines through their banks. Because of the scarcity of forex, we have had to channel the available forex to the most strategic sectors that will drive growth. The only thing is that, like everyone else, they may not be getting everything they need.”

News Express had approached Mr. Okorafor for his reaction to a document that has gone viral on social media accusing foreign airlines of blackmail. The document, the origin of which is unclear, reads: “How can foreign airlines expect us to dole out dollars to them and deplete our reserves? They are threatening to sack 2,000 workers if we don’t give them forex. This blackmail will fail! Combined, they don’t even have up to 800 workers and most of them are part time or even casual. CBN has been selling forex to them through their banks but they are making outrageous demand in million.

“Why should we satisfy their demand when our own strategic sectors and industries are having to manage with fractions of what they need and then sourcing the remaining from autonomous channels? A business class ticket on Arik to London is about N600,000 but that of BA is about N2m. Why?”

•Photo shows CBN Ag. Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor.

Source: News Express

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