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We are not aware that foreign airlines will commence sale of tickets in Dollars— Travel Agents

by Business News Report

National Association of NigeriaTravel  Agency, NANTA, has said that it is not aware that foreign airlines will commence sales of tickets in dollars with effect from April 19th. President of NANTA, Mrs Susan Akporiaye said foreign airlines operating in Nigeria have called her to express surprise at the source of the story. She also said the APG platform quoted by some news outlets is a platform used by some airlines, adding that not all airlines belong to the platform. “The platform is not an Authority and does not have powers to dictate to all airlines how they will transact their ticketing business. You cannot impose a foreign currency on a sovereign nation” .

The NANTA President also said that even though it is a known fact that many foreign airlines have been unable to repatriate their funds from Nigeria due to forex scarcity, all airlines would sell using the local currency or face sanctions.  She also said that reports that airlines have increased their fares are false, rather, what airlines did in order to cushion the effect of forex scarcity is to stop selling ” their lower inventories.” Akporiaye said  ‘‘There are reports that from April 19, airlines in Nigeria will start issuing tickets in dollars and I want to say that it is not correct”. The report quoted APG which is not an airline, so they cannot speak on behalf of all the international airlines in Nigeria. I am the president of NANTA and I can categorically tell you that airlines in Nigeria did not tell the travel agency community that they would start issuing tickets in dollars because of the issue of repatriating their funds.”

“It is true that the funds of the airlines are stuck, but what airlines have done to be able to cushion that effect , so the volume of the amount of money with them does not go higher than it is, is that they stopped the travel agency community from issuing tickets that do not originate from Nigeria. This is not too good for us because it is reducing our sales and also reduces the opportunity for us to service our clients properly. The airlines didn’t write to us to say that they would start issuing tickets in dollars because our laws do not support it, so no airlines would do that. APG is not an airline, it is just a platform that some airlines that do not represent Nigeria sell from and so they do not have the authority to speak on behalf of all the airlines. Information reaching me from the management of APG is that they were not even aware of the publication because it was sent without the consent of the top management.”

“The CEO of APG is a seasoned industry person and a member of NANTA and he has been running GSA for so many airlines in Nigeria, so, they know better. I reached out to the owner and he said he was not aware. As we speak, the APG platform has been shut down, that is to tell you that they were not aware. Immediately I reached out to them when I got the news, they shut down because they know the rules and regulations and know that such is not allowed in Nigeria and the communication that has been sent to CBN is that it was done without their knowledge. Airlines in Nigeria did not come together and agree that they would start issuing tickets in dollars from April 19. I want to emphasise that APG is not an airline, it is a platform that brings together few airlines that is why they cannot speak authoritatively on behalf of airlines.,” the NANTA President said. The rule in Nigeria is that you must  transact business in the local currency and all the airlines are aware and would not go against the rules of the country.”

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