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We do not have short term solution to aviation fuel crisis, says FG

By Joke Falaju, Abuja
27 July 2022   |   2:41 am
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has admitted that the Federal Government is overwhelmed by the multi-pronged crisis rocking the aviation industry, saying there are no immediate solutions to the problem.

Hadi Sirika

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has admitted that the Federal Government is overwhelmed by the multi-pronged crisis rocking the aviation industry, saying there are no immediate solutions to the problem.

The Minister made this known yesterday during an emergency meeting with the Airline Operators Association of Nigeria in Abuja.

He said the variables impacting the crises in the aviation sector are beyond the industry’s control, thus, there is no short-term solution, maintaining that government is in the process of finding a permanent solution to the issue.

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. 

He said “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.

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” he explained.

The President,AON, Alh. Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, in his comment, said the aviation fuel crisis began from N180 per litre and now it’s at N1000 per litre adding that the Forex crisis is a huge burden on the Industry.

He said “The rate at which the dollar is escalating now is very alarming. Every day, a difference between 10-15 Naira is added at the parallel market. Last week Monday, it was N610 but today, it is N670 to one dollar”

The Vice President, AON,Mr. Allen Oyeama in his remarks said the AON was satisfied with the government intervention in the Industry.

“We, the airline operators are satisfied with the approach the government is bringing to the table. I told you Mr. President in order o alleviate our suffering approved 10,000MT of fuel. Another 5,000 has come in. We are about to start accessing that. We are pleased with the approach for the long run” he said.

He also agreed that the solution is not in the short term.