EU confirms Nigerian Govt paid $850m foreign airlines backlog


The European Union, EU, on Tuesday said the Nigerian Federal Government has cleared an outstanding debt amounting to $850 million owed European airlines.

Samuela Isopi, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria and the ECOWAS, disclosed this at the 9th edition of the Nigeria-EU Business Forum in Abuja.

Isopi noted that a key condition for any foreign investor is the ability to repatriate profits.

“A year ago, these funds amounted to $850m, with a big chunk being owned to European airlines. Today more than 98 percent of arrears have been cleared. This is a major achievement,” Isopi said.

The ambassador also commended the decision of the Federal Government to remove foreign exchange restrictions for the import of 43 items.

According to him, “Investor confidence takes time to build up, but resolving these issues was a top priority.”

The ambassador described the business forum as a platform for dialogue and engagement between the public and the private sectors and highlighted the importance of the role of the government in supporting business, the private sector and private investments, as a driver for a truly inclusive and sustainable economic development.

Recall that the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria had, in January 2024, said the bank had concluded the payment of the foreign exchange backlog to foreign airlines

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