As part of efforts to ensure the availability and affordability of aviation fuel also called Jet –A1 in the country, the Senate Committee on Aviation has vowed to un-bundle the cartel allegedly making it difficult for airline operators to get the product.
The Senate Committee stated this today during its oversight function on the aviation industry.
Recalled that airlines operators in the country have continuously complained that they spend 40 per cent of its revenue on operational cost and that aviation fuel now sells between N220 and N240 per litre in Nigeria depending on the volume purchased.
Speaking for the Committee, the Deputy Chairman, Senator Bala Ibn Na Alla wondered why aviation fuel is scarce and expensive in Nigeria an oil producing country, while the product is available and cheaper in countries without oil.
The Deputy Chairman stated while projects work in other countries with little funds invested in them but that the same projects will not work in Nigeria despite spending huge amount on the same them.
He added that when the global oil prices declined, the prices of aviation fuel also reduced but that in Nigeria the reverse is the case ,wondering why things that operate successfully in other countries don’t work in Nigeria’s environment.
He pointed accusing fingers on the cartel in the aviation fuel business, who according to him were making it difficult for airline operators to access at the product at affordable price.
The Senator stated that at the moment the scarcity of aviation fuel was affecting flight operations in the country, adding that as it today airlines have to stopover in Accra, Ghana to buy the product at a cheaper price.
The Deputy Committee Chairman alleged that the challenge of incessant aviation fuel scarcity is the handiwork of oil cartel that is willing to sabotage the sector for their selfish interest.
He added that most times the so- called cartel in the guise of militant activities in the Niger Delta to create scarcity and make it un-affordable for airline operators, arguing that despite the crisis in South Sudan, aviation oil is cheaper and available compared to Nigeria.
Na’Alla warned that the cartel using aviation fuel to create problem in the aviation would be un-bundled, adding that stakeholders must sit at a round table to discuss the issue.
Abelnewsng.com recalled that few days ago Arik Air reduced its flights to cope with a fresh scarcity of aviation fuel.
Arik Air had stated that it took the decision to reduce flight delays and cancellations, a situation it said had been prevalent in recent times.
According to it, “With a daily fuel need of about 500,000 litres and an average of over 100 daily flights, Arik Air is mostly affected by this scarcity which is the fourth this year alone,” the airline said. “One of the airline’s flights to Johannesburg on Tuesday had to be routed via Port Harcourt to pick up fuel.”
The airline explained that the latest aviation fuel scarcity started last week, when major oil markets began rationing the product to airlines, adding that one of the marketers issued a “Notice to Airmen” (NOTAM) last Saturday, announcing non-availability of the product in Lagos while another marketer also warned of dwindling supplies in Lagos as well as in Port Harcourt and Abuja.
According to Arik, “This development has started taking its toll on Arik Air due to the airline’s large scale operations, with flights being delayed across the country and in some cases cancelled especially for airports without airfield lighting,”