26 June saw the official launch of the much-awaited Nigeria Travel Practitioners Identity Card (NTPIC) at an official event in Lagos.
NANTA President Bankole Bernard explains he expects the ID Card to “thoroughly sanitise the Nigerian travel industry”. The industry in Nigeria 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.
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 launch of the ID Card means that it is no longer business as usual,” Bankole explains. “The travel industry in Nigeria has been porous, and it has always been an all-commerce business for everybody. With the proper guidelines we are bringing now, every travel agency will need to be registered.”
Every travel agent working in a travel agency in Nigeria will now need to have the ID Card, which is tied to that travel agent’s unique Bank Verification Number (BVN). Once NANTA has received the travel agent’s BVN, the travel agent will be able to obtain their ID Card and show that they are a bona fide travel agent.
Bankole adds that the identity card scheme will capture the biometric data of genuine members of the travel industry. This data can then be easily verified by passengers who want to make sure they are dealing with a reputable travel agent.
The NANTA secretariat has commenced distribution of cards to members immediately after the official launching, and all members are expected to have registered on or before October 01, 2018.
Benefits of NANTA Membership:
- Nanta Members shall have access to the database of all certified travel Agents in Nigeria
- Background Checks will be available thus empowering the members in the blockade of fraudulent practitioners.
- The employers will have a comfort zone in the checking of background history of staffs in the industry
- Also, Embassies and High Commissions will be able to identify genuine members.
- This development will give the association and its members the necessary recognition by the Government and Related Government Agencies due to the availability of Database and identity Cards.
- Trade Partners such as GDS and Airlines shall limit trade transactions to only authorized and identifiable practitioners.
- Individuals operating without identification can now be easily prosecuted.
- Licensing will be an indicator of dedication to integrity, hard work, and creativity, and an assurance that the individual Travel Agent Practitioner can operate in this jurisdiction.