By Matthew Denis
The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Kwara State Chapter yesterday, sensitised no fewer than 100 Baboko market women on Hajj and Umrah activities.
Speaking at the event, the state Coordinator, Mr. James Olawale Abiodun said, “Following the report we heard about a fraudulent agent who duped about 12 women from Kwara and dumped them at the Muritala International Airport, Lagos after acquiring their visa last year. We saw this as a wakeup call as a responsible association to caution various stakeholders in the state to only patronise identified agents during booking for pilgrimage and other abroad tours.
“We have new identity cards from our headquarters with Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority’s (NCAA) recognition for genuine travel practitioners in the country.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to you not to patronise agencies without this identity card and recognised NANTA certificate placed in their office.
“We were inaugurated by our national headquarters through the Western zone which we belonged recently and in accordance with your demands, we are going to publish registered members in the media so that you can easily recognise them,” he said.
The Coordinator however urged the women not to panic adding that NANTA is collaborating with various security agents to eliminate quackery and fake agents in the state.
Earlier, the Iyaloja of Baboko market, Hajia Otolorin Isiaka Giwa lauded the sensitisation programme stressing that many market women are planning to travel abroad this year but are afraid of dubious agents. She however assured the association of support and cooperation of her colleagues.
Also, the Secretary of the market women, Hajia Sidikat Yusuf said, “We are many here and most of us want to travel on holy pilgrimage next year but we want the travel agencies to do a lot of publicity for effective awareness on genuine operators.
“With that, we will be confident enough to patronise agencies that have their names and contacts published in the media.”