The Femi Gbajabiamila led House of representatives will soon meet with representatives of Emirate Airlines, stakeholders in the aviation industry, including members of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) even as Emirates Airlines plans to suspend operations in Nigeria.
The planned suspension of operations to Nigeria is to protest the inability of the airline to repatriate its profits earnings in foreign exchange amounting to $85 million from Nigeria. The IATA also lamented that foreign airlines have been unable to repatriate their earnings which is now about $464 million due to the shortage of foreign exchange in Nigeria.
Nigeria is currently facing a foreign exchange crisis , which has seen the Naira take severe beatings from the US Dollars. This situation made the federal government restrict the repatriation of forex from the country.
However, in a statement issued on Friday, Yahaya Danzaria, clerk to the house of representatives, said the house was making arrangements to meet with relevant stakeholders involved in the matter.
He said Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, has directed that a meeting with aviation stakeholders be scheduled to “find urgent solutions” to the issue.
According to the statement, those invited to the meeting include the minister of finance, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on ease of doing business, minister for aviation, director-general of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), country representatives of IATA, and country manager of Emirate.
Others are chairpersons of the house of representatives committees on aviation, finance and banking and currency.
“The honourable speaker, house of representatives, rt. hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and the leadership of the house of representatives have been briefed on the disturbing notice of withdrawal of services recently issued by some international airline operators in the country,” the statement reads.
“He has, therefore, requested the chairman house committee on aviation (hon. Nnoli Nnaji) and house of representatives management to immediately set a date for a meeting with all stakeholders in the aviation sector and the executive arm of government to find urgent solutions to the issues in contention.”
Danzaria said the date for the meeting will be fixed and communicated to the invited stakeholders.