The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says it has barred the International Air Transport Association (IATA) from granting accreditation and transacting business with travel agencies that are not registered with the Nigerian regulatory agency.
Spokesman for the NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, told journalists in Lagos that the move had become necessary for the country to check-mate the activities of fake travel agents.
In recent months, there have been complaints of a rise in cases of Nigerian prospective travellers abroad defrauded by fake travel agents with industry stakeholders heaping the blame on poor regulations by the NCAA.
But according to Adurogboye, getting all travel agents to register first with the NCAA (even before getting IATA licence) was one step that would go a long way in sanitising the activities of the downstream section of the aviation industry in which the travel and tour agencies were the major players.
“The NCAA is taking concerted steps to instil sanity and orderliness into the operations of travel agencies in Nigeria,” said Adurogboye.
“On the strength of this, IATA has been directed not to accredit forthwith any travel agency without NCAA’s Certificate of Registration. All IATA accredited agents have 60 days within which to register and obtain NCAA’s Certificate of Registration. This ultimatum commenced as from May, 7, 2019,” Adurogboye said.
According to him, the NCAA will also be collaborating with IATA to provide a robust regulatory oversight on the aviation downstream sector where travel agencies are major investors.
Adurogboye said the insinuation in certain quarters of the absence of legislation concerning the registration of travel agencies is misguided as the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) confers power on the NCAA to register and issue certificates to travel agencies without which no travel agency shall operate in Nigeria.
“Any travel agency operating in Nigeria and is yet to register with the NCAA is clearly violating extant Nigeria civil aviation regulations,” Adurogboye added.