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Nigeria Earns Global Praise for Clearing $831 Million Airline Fund Backlog

...keyamo Urges ministers to Prioritize YD and SAATM

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has lauded the Nigerian government for its prompt resolution of the backlog of foreign airlines’ trapped funds, totaling over $831 million USD. 

IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Mr. Kamil Al-Awadhi gave the commendation during his opening address at the IATA Wings of Change Focus Africa conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Mr. Al-Awadhi emphasized the adverse effects of trapped funds on foreign airlines in various countries and praised Nigeria for its effective resolution of the issue. 

According to him, this decisive action has restored confidence in Nigeria within the global civil aviation community.

A statement by the Special Assistant on media and Communication to the minister Tunde Moshood, the commendation received wide applause from participants.

During a plenary discussion, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, highlighted the critical role of African Foreign Affairs Ministers in the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration (YD) and the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).

He advocated the inclusion of Foreign Affairs Ministers in driving the full operationalization of these initiatives. 

He argued that since these ministers are responsible for setting the agenda for the African Union (AU) Summit, it is essential for them to prioritize the YD and SAATM to ensure political decisions are made to overcome existing challenges.

“To make SAATM work, it is not solely up to African Civil Aviation Ministers. We need to mobilize the African Union to remove domestic restrictions, as political leaders in Africa have the authority to direct their ministers on the way forward”.

His suggestion received the nod of  conference participants as a strategic approach to achieving the successful implementation and growth of civil aviation across Africa.


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