The newly refurbished Kaduna International airport are faced with payment problems as the airlines operating at the aerodrome are insisting on only cash transactions.
The airport currently serves as an alternative to the closed Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja. The airport has no Automated Teller Machines (ATM), Point of Sale (PoS) and Bureau de Change (BDC) outlets to serve international passengers especially.
Due to this, some passengers without cash to buy tickets or prior booking arrangements are left stranded at the airport. This development is coming at a time the Federal Government is working to ensure a seamless transition, as the airport is the only route to connect the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which is the seat of the government. Besides, the cash-only syndrome runs contrary to the cashless policy of the economy.
According to the Guardian, a family of six was among those stranded at the weekend and unable to travel.A traveller, Samson Akinsiku said it was shocking to find airlines rejecting debit cards, and saying there was no PoS.
“There are three of the airlines heading to Lagos almost at the same time, which is good anyway. To buy ticket became the problem. The first said its PoS was not working, the other two said they did not even have at all. And this is supposed to be an international airport?
“I didn’t know how big the shit was until I asked for an ATM and they said there was none around, except if I go to town some 10 to 20kilomatres away,” he said.
Another traveller, Emmanuel, also expressed concerns on services rendered by airlines officials at the airport, who insisted on closing the counter by 4:00 p.m.
Emmanuel, who travelled by rail from Abuja yesterday to catch a Lagos flight, was shocked to find the airline’s counter closed by 4:30p.m. When he insisted on flying, since the aircraft was still on ground and seats available, he was given a bill of N28,000 instead of N16,000 promo fare. Emmanuel got a hand-written boarding pass in exchange for the N28,000.
When asked why the airline had no PoS and the counter closed early, an Arik Air official said it was the norm around there.“That is how we operate here. We don’t use PoS. You either bring your money or forget it,” the official fired back.
The Communications Manager for Dana Air, Kingsley Ezenwa said the development was unusual and they were doing everything possible to go cashless in Kaduna by today or tomorrow.
“We have been on this for a while. But it is the banks that kept delaying us. We pushed them all through last week to put the necessary things in place. We know its importance to making passengers have seamless travel experience and we will stop at nothing to have the PoS option working. If not tomorrow (today), then Tuesday latest,” he said.
The Spokesperson of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Henrietta Yakubu, also confirmed that the banks were in the process of beginning operations at the airport, to support transactions, whether cash or cashless.
Yakubu went on to assure a significant difference as the likes of Zenith, Guaranteed Trust Bank (GTB) and First Bank were due to begin operations and open ATM facilities this week.
Source: Guardian Nigeria