The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) has received about N196 million out of N5bn given to the aviation industry as Covid-19 Palliative to cushion the negative effects of coronavirus pandemic.
Out of the N5bn, N1 billion was given to five sectors in Allied services which NANTA falls into.
Speaking on the fund, President of NANTA, Mrs Susan Akporiaye, appreciated the government for the kind gesture and their ability to fulfill their promise.
On the sharing formula, the NANTA boss said: “We were told we would be given something that might not be money but when the money came, it was a pleasant surprise.
“The committee met and did fair sharing. You know we are not part of the airlines, ours was N1billion among five sectors in Allied services.
“It was a fair sharing among those sectors, and it was something the Presidents of all the associations that were in the committee agreed to do.
“At the end when formal disbursement was made, they didn’t do anything less than what we agreed.”
Mrs Akporiaye also warned the government not to allow another lockdown in the country, stressing that government should go into serious Covid-19 protocol enforcement, to contain further spread of the virus.
Confirming that what Federal Government have on ground in terms of Covid-19 safety protocols is perfect, Akporiaye said: “My advice when the second wave started was that government should not consider lockdown but focus on enforcement of the protocols because what they have on ground is very good and it can help us to recover quickly from this second wave.
“I give them thumps up and say this is the kind of thing we need – enforcement and penalties; when you start putting penalties, people will be forced to do the right thing and doing the right thing will take us out of the second wave faster than we expected”, she added.
Mrs Akporiaye equally hinted that NANTA has gone into a new partnership with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Before now, she said the association has gone into serious campaign since last year to partner with the regulator, adding that because of the open-door policy that NCAA has extended to NANTA, both organizations are now working out ways they could partner.
According to Akporiaye, part of the criteria for the disbursement of the Covid-19 palliative amongst its members is that priority should be given to those who are financially up-to-date and members who are NCAA registered.