The House of Representatives has mandated its committees on Aviation, Commerce and Human Rights to investigate the state of airports, activities of airline operators and the coordinating agencies in the aviation sector.
The resolution followed a motion by the member representing Kaltungo/Shongom constituency Gombe, Hon Simon Karu, on the floor of the House.
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The motion was titled: “Need to investigate the poor performance and high charges by airlines operators in Nigeria”.
Karu, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), lamented the frequent domestic flight disruptions suffered by Nigerians, saying that it is contrary to the regulations of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and in contravention of the international aviation standards.
He said the burden of air travellers in Nigeria has increased owing to the sudden 120 per cent increase in local airfares.
Nigeria, according to him, has the most expensive price regimes of local airfares with average return trip for an economic class domestic flight, standing at around N121, 000.
Karu accused local airline operators of exploiting Nigerians with their exorbitant charges, stating the situation was inimical to consumer protection principles.
The Gombe federal lawmaker expressed worry over the shutdown of automated common user check-in platforms in all the four international airports, leading to chaotic scenes and improvisation of alternative platforms by foreign airlines to check-in passengers and necessary screening.
He said the situation was a national embarrassment worsened by the expiration of the 10-year contract with Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) with foreign automation firm, State Information Technology Agency (SITA).
Karu said the exorbitant domestic airfares, breakdown of critical infrastructure and cancellation of flights have caused Nigerian air travellers much discomfort, requiring attention and investigation of the House.
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamiala, who presided over the sitting, said: “That is a very, very good motion. In fact, we have all witnessed these things.”
The House mandated its committees on Aviation and Human Rights to probe the sector and report within the next eight weeks.
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