Home Uncategorized NANTA to launch Travel Agencies Identity Card to End Fraud

NANTA to launch Travel Agencies Identity Card to End Fraud

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Left -Right: Chairman, BOT, NANTA, Mr. Steve Isokariari, NANTA National President, Mr Bankole Bernard, Secretary, Mr Yinka Ladipo and Vice President, Lagos, Adeola Adewole at the conference to announce the new Nigerian Travel Practitioners Identification Card (NTPIC) in Lagos.

The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, NANTA has come up with a new initiative to identify fraudulent individuals who claims to be travel agents in the country, as these fraudsters have defrauded intending passengers of millions of Naira.

To this end, NANTA is introducing an identification card to assist intending air travellers to identify genuine travel agents and to put a stop to the activities of fake agents in the country.

At a news conference in Lagos, the NANTA National President, Mr. Bankole Bernard, said the new identification card tagged,Travel Practitioners Identification Card (NTPIC) would be launched on the 26th of June 2018 by the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at the Landmark at Lekki.

He said the Association had to come up with this project because of the bad image the fraudsters had created in the business, adding that the business had become an all comers business where fraudsters now have a field day.

He gave more reasons why the action became necessary,”We decided to embark on this project, we found our that, number one, we are the down stream sector of the aviation industry and the Government does not really understand out worth or the total number of the agencies that exist within the country, number two, because it is so porous, there is no exit or entry barrier, it has become all comers business even for fraudsters. Number three, we realized that some have now used travel agencies as a means of human trafficking, as a means of defrauding intending passengers, as a means of bastarding our name with the embassies”.

Bankole urged intending passengers to ensure the patronize genuine travel agencies to avoid being defrauded of their hard earned money, adding that passengers at the point of buying their tickets must insist that the operator show his/ her identification to ascertain where he/she was dealing with an accredited and registered member of the Association.

“The truth is after we launch this ID card, no intending passenger should buy ticket without demanding to see this ID card, because seeing the ID card means that such person is authentic travel agent. After we are done with the launch, we are going to proceed on a mega training of our members because its very, very critical that we train our members because when we train our members then they bring professionalism onboard and they can work just the way other travel agencies around the world are working”.

The NANTA boss said the Presidency had been intimated of the identify card but unfortunately, it was learnt from them during their visit that they had fallen victim to such fraudsters, emphasizing that the Presidency was interested in the success of the launch.

” when we went to presidency to solicit for support in the campaign for this ID card, we were able to understand that even in the presidency was defrauded by a travel agency and they caught the travel agent in Benin, we went to Kano to meet with the Emir of Kano, we found out too that one of his aides was defrauded”.

He added, ” in the launch of this ID card, we intend inviting the Vice-President, Prof Osinbajo to be the chief launcher of this product, he is going to be with us by His grace to make sure that the anti- corruption crusade which they have embarked upon, we are in full support of it because this would cleanse our industry of all sort off fraudulent, malpractices”.

Bankole assured that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA was partnering with them on this project to cleanse this down stream sector of the industry and being supported by other Association of travel agencies in Africa.

“We are not working in isolation on this, we are working with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA. This particular product is not a NANTA card so that people don’t get it confused, it is an industry card to give proper data which the government will eventually rely upon as well as international body of the total number of travel agencies we have in Nigeria. I was in South Africa two weeks ago and I mentioned it to our counterpart in Kenya because as it is now NANTA works in collaboration with some other travel agencies around south Africa, we work with CATA to cover East Africa, that is Kenya Association of travel agents, we work with Association of South African Travel Agencies,ASATA, but we are in the West, KATA in the East, ASATA in the South and the Morocco travel agencies in the North. Basically, what we are trying to do is to create a strong force for travel agencies in Africa so that we are not just relegated or not reckoned with at any point in time.
So, when this was mentioned to CATA, they said this was a laudable idea and they too are going ahead to implement it”.

On the security of the ID card, Bankole said it would be difficult for fraudulent people to break into the ID but would however continue to work on it to ensure it was well secured.
According to him, all members of NANTA who are registered, have their Bank Verification Number, BVN and other details tied to it, making it difficult for would- be fraudsters to break the code.
“The good thing about this ID card is that the BVN of every individual that has the ID card has been tied to it, so the record is clean, you cannot forge it, we know yes they will still tamper with it but we intend to continue to improve the level of security that we have on this ID card, he added.

Over one thousand of NANTA members are said to have been shown interest and paid for the identification card, while as of today on the social media circle, over 33,000 viewers have looked at the banner posted on the social media.

Bankole called for support from everyone for the project to succeed, adding that because of their professionalism and the leadership of NANTA, “IATA work closely with us now because they have seen the vision and the leadership of NANTA and they are willing to go all the way with NANTA as it is now. It is a product that should be of concern even to you as a citizen of this country”.

“We are going to proceed on a mega training of our members because its very, very critical that we train our members because when we train our members then they bring professionalism onboard and they can work just the way other travel agencies around the world are working, he added.

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