Lawmakers resolve to investigate the rate of inconsistency in air travel services and claims of violation of passengers’ rights to quality air services, stress duties of airline authorities to provide airline customer assistance and services
The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Human Rights to investigate the violation of the rights of Nigerians and other passengers to quality air travel services in Nigeria.
This followed a motion entitled, ‘Need to Investigate the Flagrant Violation of Consumer Rights by Airline Operators in Nigeria,’ brought to plenary on Tuesday by Reps Karu Simon Elisha and Taiwo Oluga.
In a debate on the motion, the House noted that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) was established by an Act of Parliament to promote and protect the interest of consumers over all products and services, among others.
The lawmakers also stressed that Nigerians and other consumers have the right to be protected by the Consumer Protection Department in the Directorate of Air Transport of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). They noted that it was launched in March 2001 to ensure that aviation customers get the best services in the transportation sector.
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Leading the debate, Rep Elisha said: “that the Department was established to serve as the eye of the industry responsible for informing, educating and protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of quality services in the Aviation sector.”
“The challenges confronting the aviation sector despite interventions in reviewing airfare charges being tolerated by both consumers and government to cushion the effects yet, the airfare charges and travel disruption have continued to increase daily,” he added.
He also pointed out that the rate of inconsistency in air travel was becoming worrisome and that airline authorities have a duty to provide airline customer assistance and services to ensure that air passengers get a conducive environment, promote and protect consumer interests and healthy competition among airline service providers.
“The authority also has unreserved duty of care to Nigerians and other customers the responsibility to penalize and restrict any service provider who violates established protocols; Worried that the continuous complaints and outcry by Nigerians and other air passengers have become alarming with the consistent violation of passenger rights to service delivery by airline service providers,” the motion read.
“The inconsistency of air travel schedules due to sudden delay, cancellations and other airlift service provision, consumers are shortchanged in their businesses, health conditions and social and economic ventures without due compensation,” he added.