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Adeshola Kayode, Director Capstone Travels and Vice President NANTA-Abuja Zone, told Inside Travel there is still a lot of fraud in the travel industry with a lot of ‘travel agents’ not registered with NANTA. However, this will all come to an end in June when the NTPIC will be officially rolled out. “As soon as the NTPIC is launched, nobody in Nigeria will claim to be a travel agent without the NANTA ID Card,” he said.
Earlier this month, NANTA CEO Bankole Bernard told Inside Travel that the identity card scheme will capture the biometric data of genuine members of the travel industry. These data can then be easily verified by passengers who want to make sure they are dealing with a reputable travel agent.
Bankole explained there are currently over 6,000 Nigerians working in the travel industry, but only about 2,000 of them are registered with NANTA. He said: “People move into the industry and don’t have a clear understanding of what the industry is all about. They perpetrate fraud or they misuse airline inventories. When they exit the industry, the serious and hard-working bona fide travel agencies suffer.”
The travel trade in Nigeria has also welcomed the ID card scheme, saying it will professionalise the industry. Bukola Aliu, CEO Rock Springs Travel and Tours, told Inside Travel: “The Nanta ID card is a welcome idea and it will differentiate the real agents from the fraudulent ones. People will also start seeing us in a different light: we are professionals and people should see us as such and accord us the respect due to us.”
Aliu explained that the ID card will see embassies start recognising NANTA travel agents as a body; which in turn will give agents access through to the airport to assist their clients (protocol). “I’m so excited about the ID card,” she said.