The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) has called on the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission ( FCCPC) to wade into the challenge of airfare profiteering in the aviation sector.
Mrs Susan Akporiaye, NANTA’s National President, made the call during a visit to the office of the FCCPC in Abuja on Thursday.
Akporiaye in a statement said it was high time the association sought guidance and next line of action over foreign airlines high fares and closing of lower inventories to travel agents across Nigeria.
According to her, this has affected the travel agents’ businesses in several ways as the airlines blame the hike in airfare on their trapped fund.
She said that the association was committed to protecting its members and their businesses from any form of exploitation and unfair practices from any quarter.
She explained that this had informed the visit to the FCCPC for guidance and solution-driven advice on the face off with foreign airlines over unfair airfare pricing in Nigeria.
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.
” 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,” she said.
Responding, FCCPC Vice-Chairman, Babatunde Irukera, commended NANTA’s leadership for the trust and confidence in government structured competition and consumer protection ecosystem.
Irukera said that the commission would 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,” he said.
Lawyers to NANTA, Dr Kemi Pinheiro (SAN) and a Partner in Pinheiro LP were at the meeting.
Members of the NANTA team at the meeting included Mr Chima Ihe, Second Deputy President, NANTA; Yinka Folami and Mrs Uloma Kabowanta, Vice Presidents, respectively, Lagos and Abuja zones of the association. (NAN)