The House of Representatives yesterday mandated its committee on aviation to investigate the hike in international flight fares and poor service delivery by foreign airlines operating in Nigeria.
This, it said , was to curb unwholesome practices by airlines and ensure that flight fares were at par with that of neighbouring countries, reports Vanguard.
It also called on the ministries of interior and police affairs to liaise with the Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE, to immediately assess the value of all federal-owned barracks across the country and announce a public offering for them.
The House resolution followed the adoption of a motion, titled “Need to Curtail Exorbitant Airfares by International Airlines in Nigeria” moved by Moshood Olarewaju Oshun.
Moving the motion, Oshun noted that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, reported that as of 2022, sixteen international airlines were operating in Nigeria.
He also noted that in 2023, international passengers’ traffic had grown massively from the 3,503,692 that was recorded in 2022, and had continued to grow rapidly, especially with outbound international travellers.
According to him, the international airlines are taking undue advantage of the surge in international passengers’ traffic to charge exorbitantly for flights and cashing out on Nigeria.
The lawmaker further explained that compared to other West African countries, such as Ghana, Benin Republic, and Niger Republic, the rates set by international airlines operating in Nigeria were outrageous, despite poor service delivery and use of old aircraft by the airlines, against what was obtainable in other countries.
He said Turkish Airlines charges as much as $3,538 (N2.7million), with the lowest advertised fare being $1,432 (N1.1 million) for a Lagos-London flight, whereas the same airline charges between $475 (N368,837) and $601 (N466,676) for a London-bound flight from Cotonou, which is a huge and unfair contrast to what people were forced to pay in Nigeria.
He expressed worry that other international airlines operating in Nigeria were guilty of this unfair hike in flight fares for inbound and outbound international flights, which puts Nigeria at a disadvantage economically.
He said if strict measures were not put in place to stop the flagrant hike in flight fares by international airlines, Nigerians might no longer be able to afford international travel and even the nation’s economy would be negatively affected by such unwholesome practices.
He noted, however, that Nigeria has the highest navigational, enroute, parking and other charges, as well as aviation fuel price across the world.
Reps call for auctioning of police barracks across Nigeria
In another development, the House called on the ministries of interior and police affairs to liaise with the Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE, to immediately assess the value of all federal owned barracks across the country and announce a public offering for them.
It further mandated the committee on appropriation to ensure a redeployment of the funds meant for the maintenance of barracks across the country and provide annual budgetary allocation for the construction of befitting houses for serving police officers.
The House also mandated the committee on police affairs to ensure compliance.
These resolutions followed a motion of urgent public importance on the need to address the deplorable living conditions of officers of the Nigeria Police Force, moved by Murphy Osaro Omoruyi.
Moving the motion, Omoruyi noted that in September 2020, the National Assembly passed the Police Reform Bill 2020, which was signed into law by the former Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, on September 16, 2020, adding that one of its core issues was to address the living conditions of the nation’s gallant police officers.