Yesterday, the House of Representatives ordered its aviation committee to look into the rising cost of international flights and the subpar customer service provided by several foreign airlines serving Nigeria.
According to Vanguard, the goal was to bring airfares in line with those of adjacent countries and put an end to unscrupulous airline practises.
A public selling of all federally owned barracks around the country was also mandated, with the BPE working in tandem with the ministries of interior and police affairs to determine their fair market worth.
Earlier, a motion titled “Need to Curtail Exorbitant Airfares by International Airlines in Nigeria” by Moshood Olarewaju Oshun had been adopted, setting in motion the process that led to the House resolution.
In introducing the motion, Oshun mentioned that, as of 2022, sixteen international airlines were based out of Nigeria, according to data from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
In addition, he stated that the number of international travellers in 2023 had skyrocketed from the 3,503,692 reported in 2022, with the increase being particularly notable for outbound international visitors.
He claims that multinational airlines are exploiting Nigeria by artificially inflating flight prices due to an increase in demand.
The lawmaker went on to say that international airlines operating in Nigeria charge exorbitant rates despite providing subpar service and using outdated aircraft when compared to what can be found in other West African countries like Ghana, Benin Republic, and Niger Republic.
A flight from Lagos to London on Turkish Airlines can cost as much as $3,538 (N2.7million), with the lowest advertised fare being $1,432 (N1.1million), he said, while the same flight from Cotonou to London costs between $475 (N368,837) and $601 (N466,676), a huge and unfair disparity.
He voiced concern that other foreign airlines serving Nigeria were also responsible for the unfair increase in flight rates for both incoming and outgoing international flights.
He warned that Nigerians might not be able to afford international travel unless severe measures were put in place to prohibit the brazen spike in flight costs by international airlines. This would have a negative impact on the economy of the country.
However, he stressed that Nigeria has the world’s priciest aviation fuel and the world’s priciest navigational, enroute, parking, and other expenses.
Lawmakers in Nigeria want to sell off police stations.
The House further requested that the Department of the Interior and the Department of Police Affairs coordinate with the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to determine the market worth of all federally owned barracks and to make that information public as soon as possible.
The committee on appropriation was also given the responsibility of redirecting monies previously allocated to the upkeep of police barracks across the country and allocating cash each year to the building of suitable homes for active police officers.
The House also gave the committee responsible for police matters the duty of monitoring for compliance.
Murphy Osaro Omoruyi first brought up the plight of police officers in Nigeria and the necessity to take action to improve their living conditions with a motion of urgent public significance, which led to these resolutions.
When introducing the motion, Omoruyi recalled that on September 16, 2020, then-President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari signed the Police Reform Bill 2020 into law, noting that one of the bill’s primary goals was to improve the living conditions of the country’s brave police officers.