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The ID card is expected to thoroughly sanitise the Nigerian travel industry, which is currently struggling with a great number of fraudulent operators. According to NANTA’s website, more than 40% of Nigerian travellers have already fallen victim to unregistered and fraudulent travel agents.This will come to an end thanks to the introduction of the ID Card.
Bankole Bernard, NANTA CEO, said during the event: “This appalling act (of fraud) has continued for several years. The travel business in Nigeria has become one for all and sundry with absolute disregard for professionalism. In knowing the anomalies in the industry, the Executive Council of NANTA , the umbrella body responsible for all travel agencies in Nigeria, decided to think of a lasting solution to the industry that contributes billions of Naira to Nigeria’s economy. For instance, in 2017, a total of 504 billion Naira was contributed.”
Over 1 000 ID cards were produced in time for the official roll-out and many more are still expected to be handed out.
Previously, Bankole Bernard, NANTA CEO, told Inside Travel there are over 6 000 Nigerians working in the travel industry, but only 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.”
Adeshola Kayode, Director Capstone Travels and Vice President NANTA-Abuja Zone, agreed and 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 thanks to the official roll-out of the NTPIC. “Now that the NTPIC is launched, nobody in Nigeria will claim to be a travel agent without the NANTA ID Card,” he said.
The travel trade in Nigeria has welcomed the ID card scheme, saying it will professionalise the industry. Bukola Aliu, CEO Rock Springs Travel and Tours, told Inside Travel: “The launch event was amazing and beautiful. We can now fight corrupt and fraudulent agents in the industry and have respect that is due to us. I am very excited.”