Travel agents operating in Nigeria under the umbrella of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) said they recorded losses of $500 million in the year 2022.
They also revealed that the sector recorded over 720,000 job losses despite rising airfares, as less than 30 per cent of tickets sold in Nigeria were done by local agents due to trapped aviation funds.
They urged FG to follow up on the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) and other extant aviation laws which will open the economy to serious local and foreign investors.
This was disclosed by Mrs Susan Akporiaye, NANTA’s National President at a media briefing held in Lagos on Friday.
Losses: The NANTA President revealed that they recorded a loss of $500 million as revenue in 2022; due to a drop in ticket sales, as foreign airlines operating in Nigeria had blocked all low ticket inventories on their websites and continued to sell the highest inventories as passengers find it difficult to buy affordable tickets.
She said airfares had risen over 400 per cent to all international destinations and this is as a result of the $550million trapped funds, she added:
- “The situation at hand has made Nigerian travellers patronise agents in other African countries.
- “Only less than 30 per cent of tickets sold in Nigeria were done by local agents, with this, the Nigerian government is losing a lot of tax.
- “To reduce the amount of money that would be trapped in Nigeria, the foreign airlines have also stopped local travel agents from issuing tickets emanating from other countries into Nigeria.”
Worries: NANTA said it is pained, anxious, and worried, over the job losses recorded in the sector, citing security risks to Nigerians travelling across borders to connect cheaper flights.
- “Also, the shame of a parallel dollar monetary policy in the travel sector against established national naira monetary policy.
- ” We are also worried that none of our political parties has deemed it necessary to look at aviation economics, particularly, it’s homogeneous socio-economic and security opportunities.
- “We advise the new government to follow up keenly on Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) and other extant aviation laws which will open our economy to serious local and foreign investors; we are also remaining available for consultation.”
The association’s national auditor Mr Yinka Olapade, NANTA’s revealed that the sector has recorded over 720,000 job losses due to the irregularities in the system, despite contributing over 3.6 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation in 2021.
He urged the federal government to look into the problems in the industry as it is a goldmine that is capable of repositioning the nation in different capacities.
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Nairametrics reported earlier that a body of Nigerian aviation professionals, the Aviation Round Table (ART), rated the industry’s performance in the last eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari low.
The non-governmental organisation (NGO) said that most of the Government’s roadmaps for the aviation industry in the last eight years were either stillbirth, unborn or inconclusive.
Dr Gabriel Olowo, the President of ART stated that the Key Performance Indices (KPIs) of the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika indicated that the planned national carrier, Nigeria Air remained a “stillbirth,” while the National Maintenance and Repair Organisation (MRO) was still “unborn,” almost years after the idea was conceived by the minister.
He also lamented that the concession plan for some of the airports in the country in the first phase of the exercise remained “inconclusive,” despite the financial resources that went into it.