The Federal Government, on Wednesday, says it will penalise International Airlines selling flight tickets in dollars.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this when addressing Newmen after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by the President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Aso Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Sirika noted that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has gathered that some foreign airlines operating in Nigeria have begun selling tickets in dollars, violating extant Local Laws.
Earlier in August, the International Air Transportation Association revealed that as of July 2022, the Nigerian Government has withheld a total of $464m in revenues belonging to Foreign Airlines, disallowing repatriation.
The aviation minister while explaining the situation noted that some of the airlines have resorted to banning Local Travel Agencies from accessing their websites for ticket purchases.
Sirika revealed that the NCAA will sanction Airlines found guilty of such acts as it undermines the Country’s Laws.
Making a case for the long-anticipated National Carrier, Air Nigeria, the Minister said the Foreign Airlines have made over $1.1bn from the Nigerian market since 2016, the money which would have been retained in the economy had the Airlines been locally owned.
Sirika further explained that the Foreign Airlines remitted over $600m to their home Countries in 2016 while over $265m was disbursed in 2022, as part of the $484m due them.
The Minister also urged the Airlines to follow diplomatic channels to communicate their complaints to the FG rather than resort to social media.