The Federal Government has tasked the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) with sanctioning international airlines refusing to sell tickets in naira.
The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika disclosed this yesterday when addressing journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Sirika said intelligence reports indicated that some of the airlines refused the naira and charged their ticket fares in dollars, in violation of the country’s laws. He added that the NCAA has been mandated to deal with such airlines wilfully breaching the laws.
“Some of the airlines have also blocked local travel agencies from accessing their websites for transactions.
“The foreign airlines had made over $1.1 billion from Nigeria from 2016, which could have been retained in the country if they were local airlines.”
The minister said the airlines remitted over $600 million to their home countries in 2016 while over $265 million had also been released this year out of about $484 million due to them.
He said the government is trying to keep the airlines happy by ensuring that their money does not pile up again, insisting that though the country needs their services, the airlines need the Nigerian market.
The ministry also cautioned the airlines to use diplomatic channels to communicate their complaints rather than resort to social media.