The National Association of Nigerian Travel Agents, NANTA, has extolled the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for granting concession to airlines operating in and into the country to access foreign exchange.
The statement jointly signed by NANTA’s President and Publicity Secretary, Mr Bankole Bernard and Mr. Olumuyiwa Adebayo respectively, said that Sirika paid attention to the persist advocacy of the association to the effect that capital controls placed by government were stifling development in the aviation sector, thereby making business difficult for airlines and reducing the capacity of Nigerians to embark on their legitimate travel business due to escalating air fares.
The association declared that the decision of the government to give concession to airlines in the sector would bolster the confidence level of the operators in Nigeria’s economy and reverse all the drawbacks that the industry had suffered in recent months.
It also hinted that the concession would give room for the airlines to clear the backlog of unremitted funds in various banks in Nigeria, which would invariably create opportunities for Nigerians to enjoy more affordable travel since travel agencies would no longer be compelled to sell in dollars as was the practice in most times of the year.
NANTA insisted that this move would invariably reduce the cost of tickets.
The association however advised that government should go further to take a few more steps that would ease doing business in the sector and give investors more confidence to travel down to and invest in Nigeria.
“Focus on the domestic carriers by creating an aviation intervention fund to help them stabilise and compete with their peers in other markets. Government should also consider granting licenses to companies that intend to set up Maintenance, Repairs and Overhauling, MRO, facilities in the country as this would help in arrears of developing manpower, by offering training simulations to our personnel within the industry.
“We assure of our readiness to partner with government, its agencies and other professional bodies in the sector to build a world class aviation industry for the country. We are convinced that aviation remains an important factor to the social economic development of the country and her ever ready to play our part.”
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