The controversy generated by foreign airlines fare profiteering in Nigeria, took a different dimension weeks after the International Air Transport Association ( IATA) brokered intervention over the vexed issue tabled by the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies ( NANTA) clearly became untenable.
In view of the above, the President of NANTA, Mrs. Susan Akporiaye,in company of some of her executives stormed the Abuja headquarters of the Nigeria’ s Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission ( FCCPC) to seek for guidance and next line of action over foreign airlines high fares and closing of lower inventories to travel agents across Nigeria.
Recalled that NANTA three weeks ago at media press briefing in Lagos, had decried the foreign airlines high handedness on the matter which had created uproar among Nigerian travelling public and also evidently led to the shut down 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, 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 driven advice on the face off with foreign airlines over unfair airfare pricing in Nigeria.
“Sir, we strongly view from our professional experience and knowledge of fare mechanism, that the reactions of foreign airlines on trapped funds is grossly unfair to the Nigerian travelling public and gravely threatens the survival of NANTA members” Akporiaye explained.
She noted that she and her team, comprising the Second Deputy President, NANTA, Mr Chima Ihe,
Yinka Folami and Mrs Uloma Ibiwari Kemabonta, Vice Presidents, respectively, Lagos and Abuja zones of the association, Akporiaye further requested the FCCPC to assist NANTA and the Nigeria travelling public, with remedies to curb the unfair practices in the down stream aviation sector and how best to articulate its position going forward.
Responding, 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 at FCCPC 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