NANTA President fumes over members’ anti-competition, retrogressive practices

The President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) has carpeted people she called mischief makers whom she said are peddling rumours that could tarnish the image of the association and has vowed to confront them using all the legal means available to NANTA.

Reacting to’ insidious and damaging narratives’ targeting NANTA members holding International Air Transport Association (IATA) licence under the Golite category as fraudulent trade operators, she warned the purveyors of such misinformation to desist from such evil campaigns or be confronted within the ambits of the law to check such infractions meant to de-market the entire travel trade professionals in Nigeria.

“I have been inundated with several calls by my members on the issue and having confirmed that it was true and traceable to some of our members who felt that the only way they can wade off competition from others, particularly the young operators, is deliberately labelling them as fraudulent, is unacceptable, wicked, and against equity, inclusiveness and right to business opportunities”, a visibly upset Akporiaye said.

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She noted that according to IATA guidelines, there are three categories of Licences GoLite, GoStandard, and GoGlobal, adding that Two GoLite and GoStandard, are in use in Nigeria.

“Either GoLite (operating a pre-paid wallet system) or GoStandard (operating a bank guarantee system) gives you eligibility to issue airlines’ inventories to customers.  For anyone, whether NANTA member or not to rant publicly against those outside the bank guarantee policy is not only anti-competition, but retrogressive and divisive.”

“Yes, I have just a month to relinquish this office but I will challenge this anti-growth pattern of stigmatization. I will give my all to protect the Integrity and image of the association and the members and no one can bring anyone down just to corner businesses for selfish reasons”.

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On how to address this internal schism and distraught, a visibly disturbed president of NANTA, warned that if such persons or organizations are found wanting, she would move for regulatory reports against them because their activities are tantamount to tarnishing the image of Nigerian small businesses (SMEs), thus making Nigeria and Nigerians look fraudulent in the eyes of the global travel community.

“Honestly, I just don’t know what such persons or organizations want. Travel business is international in nature and operations; and, regulated by IATA and Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority on the local scene, so for anyone to single out one operational structure and those who possess the validation process also approved by IATA for stigmatization, labelling them fraudulent, is one joke taken too far and I will not just sit back and allow such infractions to slide,” she further stated.

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Going forward, Akporarie noted that NANTA members must purge themselves of acts unbecoming of trade professionals and under-the-table practices to gain an advantage over others.

“We shall expose these enemies within. NANTA under my watch must weed out those who do not want others to rise. Be well guided though that we are not supporting those who do not measure to our standards but in doing it, we should do it with facts and figures, be evidentially driven but not to come to the public to rubbish the image of our members and association. We cry that our principals, the foreign airlines, are oppressing us yet we provide them with weapons to justify their obnoxious trade rules.”

Wole Shadare