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Aviation committee: Foreign carriers exploiting Nigerians with exorbitant fares, harp on strong flag carriers


The new Chairman of House Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji, says for Nigeria to play a pivotal role in the emerging African Continental Free Trade Area, (AFCFTA, it must have strong flag carriers.
Hon. Nnolim Nnaji who stated this while interacting with aviation correspondents at the weekend in Lagos, noted that it was regrettable that the country had remained passive in the continental aviation market in recent years despite huge passenger traffic out of Nigeria daily.

According to him, “though floating a fully government owned airline may not be an alternative we will work closely with the Executive arm of the government to ensure that competent local airlines are supported to assume the status of flag carriers and operate internationally”.

‘We all know the important role aviation plays in stimulating international trade, so if we must be relevant in AFCFTA initiative our aviation must be of global standards in every aspect”.

Hon. Nnolim Nnaji who represents Nkanu East/Nkanu West Federal Constituency, Enugu State further observed that findings had shown that most of the foreign carriers operating into the country have continued to exploit Nigerians with very exorbitant fares since the exit of Nigeria Airways adding that the National Assembly would through legislation and every possible means seek to stem the tide henceforth.

“I have also discovered that all the foreign airlines maintain city offices where they sale tickets directly to passengers as against what is obtainable globally thereby denying our local travel agents the opportunity of earning legitimate commissions that would have reduced capital flights and provided employment for our people.”

He added stressing that the regulatory authority, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) would be made to explain the reasons for this anomaly.“

He equally added that his committee would partner with agencies and the Ministry of Aviation where necessary to make the country’s airspace safe noting that NCAA must be strengthened to carry out its oversight responsibility without fear or favour.

He disclosed that his committee would be engaging the leadership of the sector as soon as the House resumes from its break to further identify areas that need to be addressed to reposition the industry for efficiency and reliability.


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