Jet fuel scarcity: Airlines may shut down operations in 3 days, demand import licence 

1st rom left: Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood, MD, Aero contractors; 3rd, Alhaji Abdulmunaf Sarina, president, AON; Ahmed Wase, deputy Speaker House of Representatives; Capt. Musa Nuhu, DG, NCAA; Allen Onyema, deputy president, AON; Hon. Nnolim Nnaji, Chairman, House committee on Aviation; Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, MD, Arik Air at the meeting on Monday.

 

…marketers to sell a litre for N500 as consultations continue

 

Posted by Sade Williams

 

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), the umbrella body for domestic airlines, has demanded for fuel import licences for its members in order to ameliorate the suffering of the airlines and travellers even as the scarcity bites harder.

This is as the operators lamented that if in the next three days things are not normalised, the airlines may not be able to guarantee operations due to fuel crisis.

This was disclosed at a meeting chaired by the deputy speaker of House of Representatives,  Ahmed Wase, with AON members, fuel marketers, NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) DG, Capt. Musa Nuhu, in Abuja, on Monday.

It was also gathered that the National Assembly mandated the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the marketers, to in the next three days, come up with a uniform price while they (the marketers) adjust pump price downward to N500.

Speaking on behalf of the airlines, deputy national president of AON, Allen Onyema, who is also the chairman of Air Peace, said though, the statement is not a threat to Nigerians, the reality has dawned on them.

They also posited that if the airlines can buy aircraft worth millions of dollars, they can afford to import fuel if they have the operating licence.

‘We have only three more days, all airlines in Nigeria will shut down. We are not threatening this country, it is a fact”, Onyema said.

”I have the mandate of all airlines to demand that Airlines begin importation of fuel, if we can buy planes of millions of dollars, we can also import fuel ourselves. Let NNPC give Airlines licenses, we want to import ourselves, Onyema said.

The House of Representatives leadership had, last week, waded into the prevailing aviation fuel crisis that is almost crippling air travel in the country.

At the plenary last Thursday, the House resolved to summon the Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) Mele Kyari, Oil marketers, and Airline Operators of Nigeria, (AON) for meeting with the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Ahmed Idris Wase and the Chairmen of of Committees on Aviation, Petroleum Upstream and Downstream  to to seek for solution to the crisis.

The development was sequel to a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Honourable Nnolim Nnaji, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation.

Presenting the motion before the House during the plenary last week, Honourable Nnaji observed that the current crisis in Eastern Europe has created so much global tension and has raised the cost of crude oil to over $125.

He further noted that the situation has been worsened by the fact that, “Nigeria imports Jet-A1, ( aviation fuel) used by airlines for their flight operations and it’s astronomical hike can impede on airlines’ services”.

Honourable Nnaji equally disclosed that the product which was sold for N190 a litre in 2021 had risen to above N600 a litre, adding , ” to make matter worse, the oil marketers are alleged to be demanding for upfront cash payments from the airlines”.

The Aviation Committee Chairman had also note that if urgent steps were not immediately taken to ameliorate the situation, airlines and passengers would continue to suffer several consequential economic and travel crises that might lead to total shutdown of air transport services.

 

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