IATA Pledges Review of Guidelines for Travel Agents in Nigeria


Chinedu Eze

International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global body regulating major aviation operation, has agreed to review guidelines that will enhance and promote the growth of travel trade business in Nigeria.

At a recent strategic meeting with the Executive of National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) let by its National President, Mr. Bankole Bernard, IATA promised to review the interest rates charged against defaulting travels agents who delayed remittal of funds to IATA and a faster updating of exchange rate on its BSP link to help discourage speculation and confusion among travel agents.

The Regional Director of IATA, Mr. Dusankostic, who received the Nanta delegation in Amman, Jordan regional Headquarter, of IATA, Africa and Middle East, also promised that the global aviation regulatory body would henceforth play more proactive role in the training and retraining of NANTA members, adding that IATA would back a possible presence of a second DIP Provider in Nigeria.
Dusankostic appreciated the visit of NANTA leadership to its Amman facility, and used the opportunity to introduce the Gen ISS Program, a global management process for travel agents meant to ease compliance with local trade laws.

Earlier in his presentation, Nanta President Bankole Bernard commended IATA for its progressive oversight of aviation business in Nigeria, but however called for more pragmatic approach to issues concerning Nigeria travel agents who are key players in the downstream sector of the industry, particularly with challenges posed by the Nigerian economy in recession.

Bankole assured that Nanta will deepen the relationship with the Africa and Middle East region of IATA through strategic interface and visits whenever the need arises in future.

Students Display Dexterity as Finalists Emerge in Cowbellpedia

The start of the semi-finals of the on-going Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics Television Quiz Show lived to its billings recently as speed, accuracy and composure became tools in the hands of the twelve contestants fighting for honours in the first of the three semi-finals of the competition.
In the junior category, it was a fierce mental warfare that saw Oluwafunmbi Fakorede of BiboOluwa Academy, Ilesha, Osun State; and Dennis Balogun of Greater Tomorrow International College, Arigidi-Akoko, Ondo State secure the final tickets for their respective schools.

Maje Shuaibu of NTIC Kano Boys, Kano State; Oluwafunke Alabi of Scholars Universal Secondary School, Ota, Ogun State; Micah Gabriel of Evangel College, Gombe, Gombe State; and Toyosi Olorunfemi of Model Secondary School, Ilesanmi Village, Oba-Ile, Akure, Ondo State however, did not crash out without a fight, as the contest stretched into a tie breaker twice.

In the second round, the trio of Fakorede, Balogun and Alabi tied on one hundred points, while Balogun flew past Alabi and Fakorede in the first tie breaker. The second tie breaker eventually became a heart breaker for Alabi who could not match the superior firepower of Fakorede who joined Balogun on the final train.

Balogun and Fakorede expressed confidence in their abilities to do well in the final contest. “I feel great to get to this point, but the battle is not over. I will go and prepare well for the final battle, most especially, I will heed my teacher’s advice to improve on my speed,” an elated Balogun told journalists outside the studio in Lagos.

In the senior category, Blessing Udo of The Ambassador College, Ota, Ogun State and Hasanah Adeyanju of Ota Total Academy, Ota, Ogun State subdued Oluwaseun Ahmed of Scholars Universal Secondary School, Ota, Ogun State; Kenechukwu Egbo of Marist Brothers Juniorate, Uturu, Abia State; Uwakmfon Utuk of Pegasus High School, Eket, AkwaIbom State; and Yusuf Jimoh of Federal Government College, Ilorin, Kwara State.
Ahmed whose 55 marks could not take her beyond the first round stage of the semi-final contest, betrayed emotion and wept after her ouster, despite words of encouragement from the Quiz master.

The duo of Udo and Adeyanju jumped for joy and gave kudos to their teachers for their success thus far in the competition. They pledged to work harder to win the ultimate prize. ‘’I will definitely work on my accuracy and speed. That is what my teacher has been telling me. I will not let him down. I want to make my parents happy too. That has been my prayer and I believe God for success.” Adeyanju said.

The ultimate prize for this year’s edition is One million naira and an all-expense paid educational excursion outside the country. The teachers of the winning students will receive Four hundred thousand naira each.

Indigenous Cloud Accounting Solution Debuts at ICAN Conference

Participating accountants at the recent Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN’s) Conference in Abuja were held spell bound by the features of a new accounting application that debuted at the event.

Said to have been developed by an indigenous technology firm, belonging to a Lagos-based renowned management consulting company, ikooba Business Measurement and Control (BMAC) reportedly made its appearance at the 46th conference of the ICAN product exhibition to unveil it for the first time to the public and feel its reception by one of its key stakeholders, the professional chartered accountant.

The ICAN delegates at the conference from across the country widely received it, describing the ikooba BMAC solution as an indigenous application that could enhance their ability to service their teeming clients from any location in the world and usher them much relief from the highly priced foreign solutions that had dominated accounting practice in the country for decades.

Sam Afemikhe Jnr, the Project Director of ikooba Technologies, who unveiled the software application at the three-day conference, told the crowd of the highly excited chartered accountants that thronged their stand that his company was out to enhance transparency, integrity and collaboration in business by innovatively delivering excellent and seamless cloud-based processes. He described ikooba “as a bouquet of business and collaboration systems and tools that bring practical and effective solutions to help address the day to day business problems, particularly in the areas of accounting, performance measurement and control.”

Ikooba, Sam Jnr stated, “will encourage businesses, particularly small and medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) to keep accounting records, encourage the use of accounting information to manage businesses and reduce business failures, democratise accounting and create assembly lines to assist businesses keep records and foster truth, honesty in business and business accounting.” Apart from these benefits, helping to grow businesses and the economy, the project director further explained that better accounting records will help make SMEs more attractive for cheaper financing and increased investments.

According to him, large scale businesses, including banks and Fast Moving Consumer Goods’ enterprises (FMCGs), which he said, would play the role of influencers in his firm’s new initiative as they use it, can in a few clicks measure the performance of their retail business partners and assure themselves of the safety of their investment further down their value chains.

The company, the ikooba Technologies’ Director further told the accountants would deploy its new application to influencers to reduce their cost and risk to serve in an effort to minimise their monitoring time and cost and focus more attention on what is important.

“ikooba BMAC will securely manage business data online, balance budgets, assess profits and liquidity, get business records ready to access new finance, get the right business interaction and mentorship for business and assist financiers and trade promoters or regulatory agencies interested in real-time measurement of performance and early warning mechanisms for quick decisions and actions,” Sam Jnr further remarked of the accounting solution, comprising a notebook, core accounting and dash board, which he said would be expanded in future to support various other areas of businesses.

The indigenous nature of the application, he said, was explained by its name, ikooba, pronounced ikuba, meaning ‘money’ in an old Nigerian language, stressing that the cloud-based solution, which is free for businesses up to two, was unveiled at the exhibition to run free –of –charge for 30 days.