Travel agencies rally FG to developmental policies
Travel agencies in the country have urged the Federal Government to embrace and implement developmental policies for the growth of the aviation industry.
The practitioners, under the aegis of National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), said only through good policies that promote conducive environment could the sub-sector attract requisite Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
President of NANTA, Bernard Bankole, told reporters in Lagos that the local industry is overdue for a credible central data system that readily shows the strength, potential and opportunities to all stakeholders and willing investors.
Also, the government needs to ensure proper regulation and structure that restricts those who do not have business in the sector.
“When you look at the downstream sector of aviation – travel agencies, ground handlers, and catering companies – any government that doesn’t pay attention to these is not prepared to grow the sector. If policies are not formulated to support the downstream sector, the desired growth will not be achieved.
“How do we pay attention to the downstream sector? This is by ensuring that there is proper regulation and proper structure, so that not every Tom, Dick and Harry can just go into the business.
“The downstream sector should be properly regulated, properly monitored and restricted. It is then that you will see the desired growth happen, the impact felt and things like capital flight will cease. Capital flight happens because the downstream sector is totally neglected,” he said.
Bankole, who is also the Managing Director of Finchglow Group, added that proper regulations allow international organisations with the financial muscle to corner the local industry to the detriment of all.
On a central data system, Bankole said the problem was not lack of data but reliability of data been provided by the industry and called for an independent system, whose sole purpose will be provision of data.
“When we talk about data, it is not lack of data. There is data but how reliable is that data. So, let the Central Data System (CDS) be managed by an independent system. I am proposing an autonomous CDS independent of other units so that it can collate and manage data. With that, there will be some level of effectiveness in data collation and better transparency in the industry.”