The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to declare an emergency in the aviation sector.
“We recall that the incident on Monday, September 12, 2016 was the second of such occurrences in the past one week and urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately put an end to this recurring national embarrassment,” NANTA said in a statement.
“Apart from the issue of incessant power failure experienced in airports across the country, there is the parlous state of our tarmacs as well as the inefficient personnel manning some of the posts at the airports.
“Just a few weeks back, one of the aircrafts operated by South African Airways got damaged on the tarmac at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja. The aircraft was grounded for a few days before the airline got it fixed.
“NANTA worries at the disrepute that these inefficiencies bring on our nation.”
The association noted that “these difficulties, which airlines do not suffer in smaller but more organised systems account for the decision by foreign airlines to recently, adopt Ghana as the hub for their activities.
“As an organisation whose over 6000 membership are active players in the industry, we call on the Federal Ministry of Transportation and indeed the Federal Government to take steps to remedy the situation at our airports and bring back the days of glory
“To start with, we ask why the Federal Airports Authority of Nigerian (FAAN) is unable to ensure uninterrupted power supply at our airports in spite of the collection of $50 passenger service charge they receive on every passenger. Questions must be asked about what is done with these monies.
“As the umbrella association of people who issue tickets, NANTA is aware that only the NUC and the YQ or YR goes to the airline, all taxes collected on behalf of the government and the airport authority are centralised and now collected from source by IATA through BSP on behalf of the government. We are therefore confident that these monies are being remitted to FAAN.
“NANTA hereby reiterates the call on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the Aviation sector to avoid a total collapse that will worsen the nation’s economic crisis.”
This is coming after a suspension of activities by three airlines within the country.