Heritage Bank Plc, in collaboration with the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), has unveiled the Nigeria Travel Practitioners Identification Card (NTPIC).

The bank’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Fela Ibidapo, stated that the bank partnered with the travel agencies in a bid to help to sensitize and sanitise the industry.

He said in an industry with unconfirmed member list of about 60,000, the bank felt it could help to create a platform that would enable the travel practitioners to provide better services to their clients and tackle the menace of quacks in the sub-sector.

Ibidapo expressed optimism that the initiative would help the bank to put in place services that could help the genuine operators and the economy in the long run.

Similarly, the President of NANTA, Mr. Bernard Bankole, explained that the idea of the identification card was initiated by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other stakeholders in the industry because of the need to sanitise the downstream sector of the aviation sector.

According to him, the identification card project has become imperative because the travel business in the country is being abused with absolute disregard for professionalism, adding that the global nature of the business has created the opportunities for quacks to be doing business in the industry

He described the trend as undesirable and worrisome with the level of default to the airlines as well as passengers losing their hard-earned money to the duplicitous travel agents.

Bankole pointed out that it was this ugly development that gingered the executive council of NANTA to determine to find a lasting solution to the menace in an industry that contributed about N504 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017.

He said: “We are of the strong belief that NTPIC will help to identify all the practitioners in the industry and put a check on them by ensuring that there is as proper database of all the agents in the industry as well as keeping statistical data that will the government to plan for the industry.”