Tourism Cannot Thrive Without Perfect Aviation Industry——NANTA Boss

NANTA, President Bernard Bankole


…Advocates Properly Structured Bailout For Domestic Airlines

The National President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mr Bernard Bankole, has said that tourism cannot grow without near perfect aviation industry.

This is just as he advocated for a well structured bailout out for local airlines in the country ,whose fortunes are currently on the downward trand

Bernard, who said this at a breakfast meeting with select journalists in Lagos, added that the current state of Nigerian carriers is baffling and that something must be done to stop the trend.

He stated that NANTA would not keep quite but would draw the attention of the Federal Government to the things happening in the aviation industry.

The NANTA boss added that its members would continue to talk about the dwindling fortunes of the Nigerian airlines because according to him whatever happen to airlines in particular and aviation in general affects the business of travel agencies.

He said that tourism is one area that can generate revenue for the government and that Kenya for example rakes in double digits revenue from tourism but lamented that Nigeria has not been able to maximise the potential of tourism to even rake in single digit revenue.

To further express the down ward trend in the aviation industry, Bernard informed that the only runway at the Abuja Airport is in a bad state, adding that the last time South Africa Airways aircraft used the runway its airplane  was damaged.

He added that the airline had to move passengers into a hotel in Abuja.

“We cannot continue like this .We in NANTA cannot keep quite. We would draw government attention to the things happening in the aviation sector. There is no way tourism can grow without having a near prefect aviation industry. Things are getting worst and it calls for urgent attention. Other countries are developing their aviation industry, why is Nigeria’s case different. Are we going to continue this way,” he asked.

He said that the state of domestic airlines should be looked into, as according to him anytime airlines having problem it affects NANTA members.

On the bailout given to some airlines  years back by the Federal Government that was never used for the purpose for which they were taken, Bernard stated that government should have told Nigerians who took what  and where the bailout was invested.

He stated that in the banking sector, the bailout that was given to banks was properly monitored by the regulatory body; the Central Bank, wondering why that of aviation industry should be different.

The un-challenged approach and improper monitoring of the government, he argued gave airlines the boldness not to do the right thing.

The NANTA scribe advocated that the Federal Government should put in place a properly structured bailout for domestic airlines in the country, adding that if that is done, Nigeria would start seeing development.