The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), says it is partnering the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to launch an Identity Card (ID) scheme for genuine members in a bid to curb the activities of charlatans defrauding unsuspecting members of the public and creating a wrong perception of the travel agency profession in the country.
President of NANTA, Mr. Bankole Bernards, who stated this in a press conference held over the weekend in Lagos expressed deep concerns over the rise in fake or unregistered persons now doing business in the country as travel agents. He said there was the need to take urgent steps to regulate the profession given its role in ongoing efforts to grow the aviation and tourism business in Nigeria.
The ID card scheme would capture the biometric containing the data of genuine members, which can easily be verified by passengers transacting business with such travel agents.
“At NANTA, we will be most delighted to see the ID Scheme come to reality when it’s launched in March 2018 for all NANTA approved members and NCAA endorsed operators,” said Bernards.
“This would not only change the perception of the general public towards travel agent’s, but give a sense of belonging to the practitioners within the industry as we will be seen as true professionals that we are, which will automatically eliminate fraudsters,” he added.
He also listed other benefits of the scheme to include checking fraud in the default of payment by travel agents to airlines, expose portfolio operators, deepen travel trade business, provide accurate number of travel agents in Nigeria, provide accurate data to encourage in flow of foreign partnerships, and improve ease of doing business. “The immediate and future gains of this scheme are numerous; it is a strategic security product that will question and check the prowling of our business lines by fake and fly-by-night operators. With this card, which has the backing of government aviation regulatory agencies, the days of spoilers in our midst are over,” Bernards added.