By Adegboyega Oni
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has given a sixty-day ultimatum, starting from 7thH May, 2019, to travel agencies that are yet to register and obtain its Certificate of Registration to do so or have their shops closed.
NCAA stated that it is a clear violation of extant Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations for IATA travel agencies operating in the country without registration.
This was disclosed to PortNews by Mr. Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations of NCAA, in Lagos.
Mr. Adurogboye noted that NCAA had directed IATA not to accredit forthwith any agency without NCAA’s Certificate of Registration, saying the controversy in certain quarters of absence of legislation concerning the registration of travel agencies in the country was misguided.
He maintained that the registration is one of the concerted steps being taken by the authority to instill sanity and orderliness into the operations of travel agencies in Nigeria.
‘’The Authority will be collaborating with IATA to provide a robust regulatory oversight on this sector of aviation downstream operations.
‘’All IATA accredited agents have sixty (60) days within which to register and obtain NCAA’s Certificate of Registration. This ultimatum commenced from 7thMay, 2019.
‘’On the strength of this, IATA has been directed not to accredit forthwith any agency without NCAA’s Certificate of Registration.
‘’The controversy in certain quarters of absence of legislation concerning the registration of travel agencies is misguided. For the avoidance of doubt, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) confers power on NCAA to register and issue certificates to travel agencies without which no travel agency shall operate in Nigeria,’’ noted Adurogboye.
According to Nig.CARs, Part 18.9.1 (iii) of (Nig.CARs) unequivocally and incontrovertibly states that no person shall undertake the business of travel agency in Nigeria without obtaining a Certificate or License issued by the NCAA.
As a corollary to this, Part 22.214.171.124 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) 2015 states that all travel agencies shall register with the Authority after fulfilling the necessary requirements specified in IS126.96.36.199 (iii) to these regulations.
The Civil Aviation Act. 2006, Part IX, Section 30 (4) (a) inter-alia empowers the Authority to regulate, supervise and monitor the activities of Travel and other Aviation Agents operating in Nigeria.
To join the IATA BSP, Part 188.8.131.52. of the NCARs states that All registered Travel Agencies shall join and trade on IATA BSP Platform.
Adurogboye has this to say: ‘’It is important to note that the fulfilment of the aforementioned regulation Part 184.108.40.206 is a mandatory requirement for IATA to accept a travel agency on its BSP platform. However, it is after registration that a Travel Agent can commence business on the IATA BSP platform.
‘’The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is therefore taking concerted steps to instil sanity and orderliness into the operations of travel agencies in Nigeria.’’
The assured that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority would continue to carry out its regulatory oversight in all facets of air transport operations with all the seriousness that is required.