The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, NANTA, has taken a bold step to sanitize the business of the downstream sector of the aviation industry with the launch of an identification card.
The card tagged: Nigeria Travel Practitioners Identification Card, NTPIC is to address the complaints of defrauding/swindling of unsuspecting customers of their hard-earned money by fraudulent travel agents.
At the launch of the NTPIC in Lagos, President, NANTA, Mr. Bankole Bernard said the business had been flooded by fraudulent individuals who were bent on undermining the professionalism of serious minded consultants within the industry and threatening the existence of a business whose primary focus was to distribute inventories on behalf of the principals which were the airlines.
He said, “this appalling act has continued for several years, the travel business in Nigeria has become one for all and sundry with absolute disregard for professionalism”.”In knowing the anomalies in the industry, the Executive Council of NANTA , the umbrella body responsible for all travel agencies in Nigeria, decided to think of a lasting solution to the industry that contributes billions of Naira to Nigeria’s economy. For instance, in 2017, a total of 504 billion Naira was contributed”, he added.
The Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Muktar Usman said the matter became a concern for the NCAA as the regulator of the industry with the many complaints received on issues varying from fraud and cyber crimes, to agencies defrauding/swindling unsuspecting customers.
Captain Usman represented by the Director, Air Transport Regulation, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA retired group Captain Edem Oyo-Ita, said the need to curb the trend and know who is who in the travel business became necessary so as to trace these anomalies.
Captain Usman noted that in view of this on the 27th of November, 2017, a task force was inaugurated by the Director, Air Transport Regulation, DATR, comprising representatives of airlines, travel agency, GDS and the Civil Aviation Authority to determine modalities for best practices in the travel agency sub-sector.
He emphasized the role of the Travel Agencies to a nation cannot be over-emphasized, adding that they were the first ambassadors of a nation.
“As they are the first contacted by foreigners and citizens who intend to travel. Therefore, the business must be handled with all seriousness and also managed by serious minded people”.
“The NTPIC is therefore a right step in the right direction to bring sanity to the downstream sector of the aviation industry, he added.
The NCAA boss therefore called on all airlines to restrict their patronage to only travel practitioners that were on the NTPIC database as the whole idea was to improve passenger experience in the aviation sector.
The NTPIC was unveiled by the representatives of the ministers of state aviation, Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Lagos state Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism,Inspector of Police, Comptroller General Immigration and many other partners who supported the event.
Also present at the event were international airlines, Emirates, Rwandair, Ethiopian, Air Namibia. There was sabre, Amadeus etc.