An emergency meeting by the Airline Operators Association of Nigeria (AON) was held in Abuja on Tuesday with the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika in attendance.
Matters of concern were centered on the prevailing Aviation crises, which includes; scarcity of Aviation fuel and increased price of Aviation fuel. This crises led to increased flight fare and the shutting down of some domestic airlines
According to the Minister, “There is no immediate solution“. He stated that the Aviation crises was global, “Energy crisis is real and it is global. Today there are aviation fuel problems all over the world. From America to New Zealand. It is aggravating in Nigeria because we don’t produce the product”.
The Source of the Crises
The Minister explained that the crises is linked with the scarcity of Forex, that there is a decline in the source of earning foreign exchange.
He added that the government is willing to be of help to Airline Operators, and has in the past sourced 10,000 metric tonnes of Aviation Fuel for the airlines.
In his words; “As we speak, the government is in the process of finding a permanent solution to this issue”
The Minister listed solutions in view such as; “importation of the product at appropriate price, accelerating the refurbishment of our refineries and also wait for the coming on stream of Dangote Refinery to boost supply of the product.”
However, he stated that these solutions cannot be soon because there is no time frame to which Dangote will come on stream, or how soon the refineries will be filled and he cannot ascertain when imports would become sufficient.
In conclusion, Mr Sarika promised to be meeting with relevant stakeholders, including the Central Bank of Nigeria to see how the airlines can access dollars at the official market rate rather than the black market rate.
First published: Premium Times