Aviation Minister Begs For Forex To Import Aviation Fuel

Direct CBN To Allocate Forex For Importation Of Aviation Fuel, Minister Begs  Buhari – The Whistler Nigeria

Yemisi Izuora

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has appealed for release of foreign exchange to facilitate import of aviation fuel.

The Minister feeling constrained by scarcity of Forex has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to provide foreign exchange for the importation of Jet A1 fuel.

He said, “Aviation business suffers from issues of foreign exchange by local and foreign airlines and their inability to repatriate blocked funds. Nigeria currently holds $283m worth of foreign airlines funds in the country.

“I will like to humbly ask for the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the directives of Mr President Muhammadu Buhari, to prioritise access to foreign exchange for all carriers both local and foreign and to work out mechanisms to clear the existing backlog and urgently prevent the subsequent buildup for the global economy.

“Mr President is aware of the recent chaos in the sector caused by lack of Jet A1 fuel. Flights were duly delayed or cancelled unpleasantly.

“I wish to use this medium to humbly request Mr president to direct the NNPC to import Jet A1 in good quantity and device means to sustain supply as well as directing the central bank to allocate foreign exchange for the major marketers to sustain the supply.”

The aviation sector is currently faces severe crisis with operators increasing air tickets by 100 per cent to N50,000 for an economic ticket following the scarcity of the aviation fuel.

The fuel now costs around N670 per litre. Forex is a major driver of the prices as most importers are buying dollars at N600/$1 at the parallel market to buy the product.

Last week, the Federal House of Representatives and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd engaged Oil marketers and Airline Operators to resolve the current aviation fuel crisis in the country.

The Group Managing Director of the NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari had said that the oil marketers have agreed on an interim arrangement that will enable them to fix the price of aviation fuel at N500 per litre as against N670 per litre.

He said, “We know this is a very difficult situation. We know that once aviation fuel increases, prices of flight tickets will certainly increase and this can surely cost pain for Nigerians.

“That is why we are working with you to ensure that those pains are minimized to the barest minimum and one of the elements is the pricing of aviation fuel.”

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