Nigerian airlines bailed out by the government


LAGOS, Nigeria — A spokesman for Nigeria’s Central Bank says the West African nation has extended a $3.3 billion bailout to the country’s troubled domestic airlines.

Mohammed Abdullahi said Monday that the fund will let airlines refinance their loans for a period of 10 to 15 years. Abdullahi says the loans help both airlines and banks, as the airlines’ heavy debts could hurt the banks.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has seen its airline industry grow dramatically in recent years. The competition has strained airlines’ budgets, already hurting from increased jet fuel costs.

The bailout offer comes after Nigeria injected $2.55 billion last year to rescue five troubled banks.