Again, aviation fuel shortage grounds domestic flights

Super Eagles and Watford Football Club of England forward, Odion Ighalo, was one of the passengers stranded in Lagos on Monday as perennial fuel scarcity again bit harder nationwide. Ighalo others in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt waited several hours in airport terminals as airline operators struggle to get aviation fuel to power scheduled flights.

It was gathered that the limited available supply had gone to about N250 per litre with marketers demanding for money before each supply. Besides the hike of 100 per cent, compared to the price offered some months ago, most of the airlines had difficulties doing cash-and-carry as now demanded by marketers.

Except for airlines like Air Peace, Aero Contractors, Dana Air, Azman and Med-View airlines that operated some of their schedules enroute Lagos, Abuja and Kano, others, including Arik Air summarily grounded their operations, leaving passengers waiting for long hours.

Spokesman for Arik Air, which operates the largest number of flights daily, Banji Ola, confirmed that it has been tough to get aviation fuel.Ola said that the marketers were getting the products in trickles and far short of the daily requirement to carry about 120 daily flight operations nationwide.

Executive Secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Obafemi Olawore, had blamed the shortage and price hike on the naira free fall against the dollar.Aviation fuel, which is 100 per cent imported, has gradually rose in price since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the foreign exchange flexible policy.

Olawore said efforts were on to bring in supplies at more affordable rates with the Federal Government’s special intervention to make foreign exchange available at the interbank market rate, but till date, the pledge has not been fulfilled.


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  1. February 11, 2024

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