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Irukera applauds VAT waiver, commends airlines improved service delivery

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DG CPC Dr. Babatunde Irukera speaking at the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents, LAAC 22nd seminar/Awards in Lagos

Director General, Consumer Protection Council,CPC, Dr. Babatunde Irukera has applauded the Federal Government’s waiver of Value Added Tax, VAT for domestic airlines in the country.

He said this development from the consumer stand point, will translate to a better experience for consumers and fairer pricing.

Speaking at the 22nd seminar of the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents LAAC in Lagos, Dr. Irukera said he was in support of it because it is an excellent idea.

“So I don’t look at things from a tax stand point, that is more from a business stand point. But if that trickles all the way to benefit to consumers, both from a service stand point and a pricing stand point then I think it is an excellent idea”.

On service delivery by airlines, he noted that in recent times, there has been a significant improvement but though there are still some challenges, airlines must resolve to do their best in giving consumers a good experience.

“Regardless of all these challenges, I think that airlines have to measure their responsiveness and sensitivity indexes with respect to their consumers”.

Irukera explained that infrastructure and regulatory bottlenecks are major problems of airlines as revealed in a meeting with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA and operators, adding that urgent steps must be taken to ensure that consumers do not become apprehensive using the airports.
“I sat in a meeting with NCAA and airlines operators and obviously the meeting was a collaborative meeting on how to address consumer issues in the industry. And what I seem to be hearing from a lot of the airlines, were there are challenges on how they do their work, infrastructural challenges, regulatory bottlenecks”.

“Airport and the airside or the terminal side they experiences are vital to consumer experiences also, even if you have the best airports but there poor responsiveness, then consumers will still be displeased. And airline industry is one place where you can easily satisfy consumers. Nobody wants to fly when it is unsafe to fly”, he added.

The CPC Director General urged airlines to one up with appropriate mechanism for people to call in and have complaints resolved and when there is a delay, they should ensure it is for legitimate reasons and they responsiveness and sensitivity to the issues must be such that they are upfront, provide the information and then provide options or find a way to mitigate whatever the inconveniences that consumers will experience.

“And airline industry is one place where you can easily satisfy consumers. Nobody wants to fly when it is unsafe to fly, so if there is a delay for a legitimate safety reasons, consumers will actually appreciate that”.

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