The President and council members of National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mrs Susan Akporiaye is deeply concerned about the impression the trapped funds of foreign Airlines operating in the country portrays Nigeria.
NANTA as a strategic concerned partner in the downstream aviation sector have over the years appealed to the government through the central Bank of Nigeria and also through the ministry of Aviation to see to the possibility of reducing the humongous trapped funds which at the month of May, 2022, is estimated at well over $450 million US dollars.
The current situation presents a real threat to the industry and the continuity of our business as Travel professionals, bearing in mind the potential jobs losses and the attendant national economic losses as we are just gradually coming out of the pandemic era.
The foreign Airlines may resort to taking out lower inventory in the system resulting in high cost of tickets from the Nigerian market, For instance, a six hour trip to London may attract a fare rate of about two thousand dollars or more and also encourage tickets sold outside the country to flood Nigeria, thus affecting the survival of Nigerian travel agents and consequent loss of taxes and levies from such transactions.
As Nigerians, we are patriotic and have presented our country well in the global travel industry and rightly felt disturbed that Nigeria is on the brinks of a wrong narrative at the just concluded 78th Annual General meeting of International Air Transport Association ( IATA) in Doha, Qatar on the account of Airlines trapped funds to which Nigeria is Africa’s leading boggy boy.
We are by this outing once again, appealing to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the ministry of Aviation and the office of the Vice President to speedly intervene to bring down the amount of trapped funds to help resolve the operations of these Airlines.
Nanta reiterates that it’s not a good business environment for an investor to be unable to take his funds out of the country, and at the same time expected to operate at international best practices.
Indeed, a bleak future more than the effects of the Pandemic awaits Nigeria Travel trade operators if nothing concrete and effectual is done urgently to address this disturbing situation, by the Central Bank of Nigeria.