By Sade Williams
President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mr. Bankole Bernard has lauded the public hearing on state of the nation’s aviation sector, saying the revelations at the hearing organised by the National Assembly, has vindicated the position earlier taken by the association.
This is just as he commended NASS, particularly the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation for the high profile public hearing on aviation, adding that the gesture has vindicated NANTA strident advocacy to arrest the rot in the industry.
Bernard, who recently led the executive members of the association to the National Assembly to draw attention of the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yusuf Lasun to the dangerous under hand deals, poor airports infrastructure and consequences of CBN forex policies as it affects airlines operating in Nigeria, stated that the emerging hidden truths and fearful revelations from the aviation public hearing in Abuja clearly vindicates the earlier position of NANTA and puts the defenders and apologists of the rots in aviation in a tight corner.
According to the President, who just came back from Amman, Jordan, headquarters of Africa and Middle East region on International Air Transport Association (IATA) to advocate on fresh progressive aviation administrative legislation for Nigeria, the aviation stakeholders evangelical outcry and including that of top senate leadership is very heartwarming and very progressive.
Bernard noted that he was impressed by the very commendable position of Senate Deputy President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Senate Minority leader, Godswill Akpbio and Senator Dino Melaye, who warned the government to brace up and tackle the rot in aviation industry or be ready for fresh outbreak of air crashes in the country.
Senator Malaye had during Senate plenary last week, brought a motion on “Disturbing Development in Nigeria Aviation Industry” to which Senators Ekweremadu and Godswill Akpabio had in their contributions described the state of Nigeria aviation as very embarrassing.
NANTA President, who thumbed up the senators, called on all other well-meaning Nigerians to join the campaign to restructure and restore the lost glory of Nigeria once noted as a robust and lucrative engine of Nigeria economy and social development in the past.
According to him, “Three months ago, when we started the campaign to expose the rot in aviation industry, our traducers went to town to call us names with many of them saying that NANTA was wrong to have visited the NASS, the presidency and the media to complain of the looming dangers facing our aviation sector. Today, we hold our head high that the truth is tumbling out from concerned Nigeria’s who once withheld their support to our earlier campaign.”
Bernard informed that NANTA will in due course marshal out a Nigerian aviation restoration blue-print to add value to whatever position the government and the National Assembly may have on the way forward for aviation.
“NANTA will soon head back to the NASS and the Presidency with our own position and suggestion, which again we pray would help our Nation back on its feet on aviation business.
He added that NANTA appreciates the Nigeria aviation and tourism journalists for their consistent support, which today has brought the nation to the painful reality facing the aviation sector.