Lawyer decries payment of airfare in foreign currency
Writes Aviation Minister To Reject Airlines Request
The Head of Chambers/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Alabukun Law Chambers, Dr. Yemisi Solanke Koya, has decried foreign airlines requiring payments for air tickets purchased in Nigeria in foreign currency.
In a protest letter to the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Koya described the demand by foreign airlines as repugnant to the sacred ideals of Nigeria’s sovereignty.
She noted that in other climes, it would be totally inconceivable for any Nigerian enterprise to compel payment for purchases in their domain in naira and kobo.
“The current perilous practice of the said foreign airlines requiring payments for airline tickets purchased in Nigeria in foreign currency. A vexing outrage. The ignoble scheme is typically to the exclusion of such payments being made in the Nigerian legal tender, the naira and kobo, and laden with national degradation and harrowing logistics.
“The torrents of the attendant denunciation, at such an audacious attempt by Nigeria to denigrate their sovereignty, would reverberate rebuke globally. Nigeria must be accorded the same deference. Nigeria has long extricated itself from the demeaning shackles of colonialism inclusive of foreign currency being foisted upon the country as its legal tender.”
Koya maintained that Nigeria must not permit the ominous and abhorrent vestiges of a previous albatross to resurface unfettered in refurbished fashion to erode its independence and supplant its currency.
“Any such attempt, however contemplated or effected, must be decisively thwarted. Companies accorded the opportunity to conduct business in Nigeria are obligated to respect its sovereignty. Any adverse stance constitutes an act of hostility and is unequivocally unacceptable.
“The imposition of such reprehensible terms of payment is a brazen affront to the nation and citizenry granting those enterprises the privilege to transact business in Nigeria. It is patently unconscionable and a departure from the essence of corporate social responsibility.”
She added that if such incursions, whether subtle or stark, remain uncurbed, the gradual erosion of Nigeria’s sovereignty may culminate in exceedingly turbulent courses for Nigeria and its people.
Koya further said that it is incumbent on the government to incisively excoriate the ignominy and assured the preservation of the nation’s sovereignty.
“In this governmental responsibility, citizens must remain hopefully assured. Therefore, as a matter of grave national priority, respectfully, I appeal to your distinguished office to immediately intervene to halt this nationally degrading practice and assailment on Nigeria’s sovereignty.
“Furthermore, to perpetuate national sanctity, the gravitas of your said office is hereby sought to compel compliance with the law and mandate payments in Nigeria in its legal tender.
“In solemn anticipation of the permanent abatement of this national blight, and in accord with the nation’s dignity depicted in Nigeria’s coat of arms, I earnestly await the speedy resolution of this matter by your esteemed office. In that regard, kindly accept my most sincere appreciation in advance of the restoration of the nation’s sovereign integrity,” Koya said.