By ’Wale Olapade
Solutions to foreign carriers’ fare profiteering in Nigeria took a different turn weeks after International Air Transport Association (IATA) brokered intervention over the vexing issue tabled by National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA).
Susan Akporiaye, President NANTA in company of some of her executive members, recently in Abuja headquarters were the Nigeria’s Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to seek guidance and next line of action over foreign Airlines’ high fares and closing of lower inventories to travel agents across Nigeria.
It will be recalled that three weeks ago, at media press briefing in Lagos, NANTA decried foreign Airlines observed high handedness on the matter which had created uproar among Nigerian travelling public and also evidently led to the shutdown of many travel trade companies and consequent job losses.
Addressing the FCCPC team led by its Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Babatunde Irukera, the NANTA President, Mrs Susan Akporiaye disclosed that the association is committed to protecting its members and their businesses from any form of exploitation and unfair practices from any quarter, hence the visit to the FCCPC for guidance and solutions on the face off with foreign Airlines over alleged unfair airfare pricing in Nigeria.
“With strong view from our professional experience and knowledge of fare mechanism, the reactions of foreign airlines on trapped funds is grossly unfair to the Nigerian travelling public and gravely threatens the survival of NANTA members” Mrs Akporiaye explained.
Akporiaye further requested the FCCPC to assist NANTA, and the Nigeria travelling publicwith remedies to curb the unfavourable practices in the downstream aviation sector and how best to articulate its position going forward.
In his response, the FCCPC Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Babatunde Irukera, commended the NANTA leadership for the trust and confidence in government structured Competition and Consumer Protection ecosystem, adding that the commission will study the issues and engage necessary interventions, which may include inviting parties and stakeholders involved.
“We welcome your request for guidance and will do our best to help determine possible steps to solve this problem which affects Nigerians, but will first put up an investigation team to determine what led to this impasse and possibly infractions against the travelling public, “the FCCPC boss assured.
Also at the meeting was Dr Kemi Pinheiro SAN accompanied by a partner in Pinheiro LP; who are lawyers to NANTA.
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