We’ve been selling forex to airlines – CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria has described claims by some airlines that they are unable to access foreign exchange to repatriate the proceeds of their operations as untrue.

A number of airlines operating on international routes from the country had claimed that their inability to access forex was hampering their operations and was responsible for the increase in airfares, in some cases by as much as 100 per cent.

But the CBN said it had been selling forex to the airlines through the commercial banks at the interbank rate.

The spokesperson for the apex bank,    Isaac Okoroafor, stated that anyone in doubt as to whether the airlines had been accessing forex or not should go through the published statements of sale by the banks.

“The scarcity of forex is not peculiar to Nigeria. It is the same situation in most commodity-dependent economies, especially those that depend on oil. So, what we have been doing is to prioritise the sale of forex. The airlines may not be having enough, but that is not enough reason for them to begin to increase airfares arbitrarily,” he said.