Efforts to find lasting solution to foreign Airlines fare profiteering in Nigeria took a different direction weeks after the International Air Transport Association ( IATA) brokered intervention over the issue tabled by the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies ( Nanta).
Susan Akporiaye, President National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) in company of some of her executives, on Tuesday 21st February 2023, stormed the Abuja headquarters of 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.
Three weeks ago, at a Media briefing in Lagos, NANTA 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, 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 solution 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” Mrs Akporiaye explained.
Noting that she and her team, comprising Mr. Chima Ihe, Second Deputy President, NANTA, Yinka Folami and Mrs Uloma Ibiwari Kemabonta, Vice Presidents, Lagos and Abuja zones of the association respectively,
Mrs Susan Akporiaye further requested the Federal Government Competition and Consumer Protection regulatory Commission to assist NANTA, and the Nigerian 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 we 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