Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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FG says no immediate solution to aviation crisis

Crisis rocking the aviation sector will continue as the Federal Government has stated it has no immediate solutions to the crisis.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, at a meeting with officials of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), in Abuja.

Sirika said there is no short-term solution, maintaining that the government is in the process of finding a permanent solution to the issue.

The operators in the industry are faced with a double whammy issue of foreign exchange scarcity and high cost of Jet A1 otherwise known as aviation fuel, which is a major component in the cost of airline operation.

The minister said the variables impacting the crises in the aviation sector are beyond the industry’s control.

He highlighted the solutions to include: importation of the product at an appropriate price, accelerating refurbishment of local refineries and awaiting the coming on stream of Dangote Refinery to boost the supply of the product.”

Sirika disclosed that the Federal Government had in the past sourced 10,000 metric tonnes of Aviation Fuel for the airlines adding that the government is willing to do more, but unfortunately he said the solution cannot be soon.

“So when you ask how soon, I wouldn’t know when Dangote will come on stream, I wouldn’t know how soon the refineries will be filled. I wouldn’t know when imports would become sufficient. But the government is working towards all these to happen”, he assured.

Sirika disclosed that the Federal Government had in the past sourced 10,000 metric tonnes of Aviation Fuel for the airlines adding that the government is willing to do more, but unfortunately he said the solution cannot be soon.

He also assured the airlines to meet with relevant stakeholders including the CBN so the airlines can access dollars at the official market rate rather than the black market rate.

The Minister lamented “Energy crises are real and it is global. Today there is an aviation fuel problem all over the world, from America to New Zealand. It is aggravating in Nigeria because we don’t produce the product. It’s aggravated also because the foreign exchange is scarce in Nigeria because the source of earning the foreign exchange also has dwindled.”

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