As the aviation industry continues to suffer the effect of COVID-19, with no end in sight, the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies(NANTA) has stated that securing Foreign Exchange(Forex) from the United Banks for Africa(UBA) is one of the major challenges the body is facing presently.
The National President of NANTA, Mrs Susan Akporiaye disclosed this to journalists during a media parley at the association’s headquarters in Lagos.
She explained that NANTA applied for Forex from United Bank of Africa four months ago but that up till this moment, the association has not been able to secure Forex to pay its annual dues to IATA ,
She said that the association requested $60,000 but the bank was only able to provide $4,000, adding that this cannot not pay for the association’s annual dues to IATA.
The NANTA boss said to avoid being sanctioned, the body explained to IATA the challenge the association was facing.
To buttress her point, she said that IATA has opened a communication channel for counselling to assist NANTA members.
According to him, “All what IATA is doing is to encourage people to continue to travel. The IATA that I know ordinarily do not listen to excuses .Today, they have asked us to pay the 2019 rate . IATA understood our situation after we explained to them the challenges we have with securing Forex from UBA,”
On what was the response of the United Bank for Africa, she said that the bank told NANTA that the Central Bank said it can only give a percentage of money bidded for by the association.
Also, speaking, NANTA Financial Secretary, Daisi Olotu said what body is doing is genuine business , wondering why the association should be treated that way when it is carrying out legitimate business
He stated that if not for the fact that IATA has been supporting travel agents, it would have been a serious challenge as far paying annual dues is concerned .
He added IATA has shown understanding and that it has also been very supportive since the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic.