A non-governmental organisation, Leadership Entrepreneurship and Advocacy Network (LEAN), has urged the National Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) of Nigeria to investigate the alleged extortion of Nigerian passengers by Qatar Airways through its stop-over programme.
The call was made on Wednesday by the Executive Director of the group, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa, in Enugu while briefing newsmen on the undiplomatic practice of the airline that extort at least N100,000 from each Nigerian on a stop-over programme for which Nigerians are ineligible.
Okenwa stated that the group wants to draw NCAA’s attention to how the Qatar Airlines is extorting unsuspecting Nigerians under the guise of a Qatar stop-over and transit Visa programme which they claim can be applied for by only passengers of Qatar Airlines.
“The group pleads that you (NCAA) use your good offices to launch a prompt investigation into this matter and you will discover the huge sums of money that Nigerians are losing daily by opting for a stop-over program which they are largely ineligible for.
“Recall that even up till now the Qatar Embassy in Nigeria is not yet issuing out visas to Nigerians.” Okenwa noted, adding that; “The group will also appreciate any assistance to help Nigerians recover some of the monies cited above which was paid based on an impression created by the airline of a stop-over programme offer.”
The Executive Director of LEAN also recounted his personal experience as he narrated his recent ordeal with the airline. “Last month I booked a flight ticket on Qatar Airways to Singapore and added the stop-over programme which was an option on their booking template and at the same time attracted an additional fare of over N100,000 to include on my flight itinerary.”
Okenwa added sadly that the Qatar Embassy in Nigeria was unwillingly to take responsibility for the unethical and undiplomatic actions of the airline.