NCAA Cautions Travellers against Patronising Fake Agents
by This Day
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has advised all intending travellers to stop patronising unregistered travel agents, who reportedly defraud air passengers about N1 billion annually.
NCAA, which issued the warning in Lagos yesterday, said the caution became necessary in view of the complaints it has received in recent times.
The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agents (NANTA) had raised the alarm over the number of Nigerians who have fallen victims of these illegal travelling agencies that issue dud flight tickets and reservation papers and collect money from travellers without paying the airlines.
NANTA had also introduced identity cards for genuine operators who are also members of the association in order to eliminate the operations of the unregistered travel agents.
“The Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015, Part 18.9.1 (111), prohibits the undertaking of the business of travel agency by any person in Nigeria, without a Certificate of Registration or Licence issued by the Authority, upon fulfilment of certain requirements, including, that an applicant submits evidence of membership of National Association of Nigeria Travel Agents (NANTA),” NCAA said in a statement signed by its spokesman, Sam Adurogboye.
The regulatory authority also noted that, Section 30 (4) of the Civil Aviation Act 2006
empowers the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to regulate, supervise and monitor the activities of travel agents in Nigeria.
“Consequent upon these reports of sharp practices by unregistered travel agencies, the Authority has therefore directed all duly registered travel agencies to display their certificates of registration or licences in all their outlets. There are 150 travel agencies on the register of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority,” the statement said.
NCAA stated that there are guidelines for registration with the authority, noting that the applicant must fulfil both the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and NCAA requirements to be registered.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority therefore reiterates that prospective passengers should do business only with travel agencies registered with the Regulatory Authority,” the statement also said.
While decrying the activities of illegal travel agents, the NANTA President, Bankole Bernard had explained that the identity card would give stakeholders and travellers the ability to identify who are members and who are the real practitioners.
“People get to the airport and they realise that what they have with them is reservation papers and that they have lost their monies; therefore, we felt this must not continue and we must put a stop to it,” Bernard said.