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FG to release $812.2 million foreign airlines fund trapped with CBN

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The $812.2 million funds belonging to foreign airlines, which has been trapped in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is to be released immediately, the Federal Government, announced on Thursday, a move that could lead to the ending the bitterness of the operators, which led to the withdrawal of flights by Emirates into Nigeria.

Festus Keyamo, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, who made the commitment at the closing ceremony of the 7th African Aviation Summit in Abuja, said that the FG had commenced the process of paying the companies their unrepatriated funds, a situation that has engendered a diplomatic row with some countries.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had confirmed in June this year that $812.2 million of foreign airlines’ funds are withheld in Nigeria, a situation which had sparked off some discontent in the industry, leading to United Arab Emirates (UAE), slamming a blanket ban on Nigerian citizens into their country, apart from the ending flight operations of its national carrier to Nigeria.

Keyamo, who said President Bola Tinubu was concerned over the development, assured that efforts were being made to ensure that the funds of the foreign airlines were repatriated, adding that the Ministry of Finance and the CBN were working on a feasible timeframe convenient for the release of the funds.

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“In fact, it is one of the issues we went to discuss in the UAE. I spoke with the Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Mminister of the Economy and he has given an indication that within the next few weeks, the Central Bank of Nigeria will be very clear as to the timeframe or the programme within which these issues will be addressed.

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“They will be paid off; these are not loans, they are trapped funds, they are funds that are there, it is only the issue of liquidity that is our problem. Liquidity issues are being addressed as I speak right now. It is something that the president is very concerned about, and that issue, I said that we have addressed it in the UAE and very soon, you will hear from the financial sector.”

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Tough economy: Trouble in APC, as staff plan strike

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A loud grumbling has enveloped the 40 Blantyre Crescent, Wuse, Zone 2, Abuja, headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), where staff across different departments are threatening to down tools in protest of poor welfare and biting economic hardship.

Daily Trust, is reporting that the staff are specifically asking the party’s top echelon to make provision for their housing and other allowances, stressing that the economic situation of the country had become quite unfavourable to them.

The paper quoted one of the staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that the party’s executive members had left them to suffer, while taking home humongous amounts of money as salaries and allowances.

Though Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, National Chairman of the party, is said to have commenced payment of N35,000 provisional wage award to them in January 2024, they argued that the largesse would in June, and they would be back to square one and therefore, they needed more stable welfare packages.

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In a swift riposte, Felix Morka, spokesman of the party, was quoted as dismissing the agitation, saying: “Those matters I don’t really discuss them. As you can see, there are many important things to discuss; at the national level, in Edo State. We are battling with all that. So, any in-house matters are not my focus right now.”

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BREAKING: Davido ups the ante, doles out N300million to orphanages

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David Adeleke Nigerian music sensation, otherwise known as Davido is stamping his giant feet with which he has mesmerised his audience across the world in the arena of philanthropy, with an announcement of a fresh donation of a whopping N300million to some orphanages across the country.

The latest is an increase of N63million up from the N237million the popular singer, who disclosed the largesse in a statement on his social media accounts on Tuesday, dolled out last year as part of the gesture in what is now turning out a yearly programme since it started a few years ago.

The gesture is coming at a time Nigeria is under an intense weather of deprivation and poverty, with the prices of food and other commodities hitting the roof and citizens, unable to afford basic items mostly going to bed on empty stomachs as a result.

In recent weeks, demonstrations had erupted in many parts of the country, including Niger, Kano, Ogun and Oyo States, where residents trooped into the streets to demand an end to the parlous situation, which they blamed on the insensitive policies of the government of Bola Tinubu, the Nigerian President.

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The singer, who first gave out N250m to 292 orphanages in October 2022, said the this year’s donation would be done through The David Adeleke Foundation (DAF), adding: “I and my foundation pledge the sum of 300 million Naira to orphanages around Nigeria … as my yearly contribution to the nation. Details of disbursement tomorrow.”

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BREAKING: Tinubu set to probe Buhari’s N23trillion Ways and Means debt

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At last, President Bola Tinubu, may be going through the N23trillion Ways and Means debt obtained by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, with a fine comb to determine what the funds, which is attributed to a major part of the current debt overhang in the country, went into.

The Nation, quoted Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy as revealing this much to participants at the ongoing Public Wealth Management Conference organised by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoFI).

Besides, the Minister reportedly said the Federal Government would also present a bill to the National Assembly, soon to authorise the removal of “all taxes and levies that constitute nuisance from the country’s tax system, as a measure to wean itself from future Ways and Means indebtedness.

The government, Edun added, will vigorously pursue policies that will allow it harvest revenue in real time from Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) and Corporate entities.

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It was also on the same day that the Minister explained that Tinubu’s administration inherited a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government, but emphasised the government’s commitment to reducing food prices and tackling the nation’s high inflation rate.

Outlining the measures government was taking in tackling the situation, he revealed that, the government had released 42,000 metric tons of grains, with an additional 60,000 metric tons scheduled for release soon.

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