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Why marketers jerked up Aviation fuel pump price— Aero Contractors boss

Fresh explanation emerged weekend, giving reasons why petroleum marketers increased pump price of Aviation fuel, Jet A1.

Recall that the Nigerian national Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), last week claimed that there is no cause for alarm because the system has products that can last for about 37 days.

However, in an interview, the Chief Executive Officer, Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi, said marketers increased the price without regard for local airlines due to lack of long-term contracts with them.

He said long-term contracts in supplies of aviation fuel will wave away cases of momentary hike in prices as the binding status of the contract will forbid such illicit practices in the industry.

There had been series of conspiracy theories ahead of the scarcity of the product since two weeks now.

Industry experts say one of the factors causing unofficial hikes in aviation fuel include the challenge of loading by marketers. Otherwise, loading had been the major problem as marketers had to transfer the product using truck as there were no pipes linking the airports to depots.

 But this theory was punctured by the Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr Clement Isong, who averred that there had been no problem with supply.

Analysts say even though the scenario have not led to any significant increase in the price of flight tickets, it had increased delays across airlines’ flight networks, especially for those who needed to refuel outside Lagos airport.

Fact checks show that the problem of arbitrary price increase has been persistent and needs to be looked into as aviation fuel, otherwise known as Jet A1, accounts for 30 per cent to 40 per cent of airlines’ operating costs.

Besides, the African Airlines Association (AAA) recently said fuel costs in Africa was the highest, adding that high taxes and charges were the reasons the continent’s airlines were less competitive than their counterparts in other regions of the world.

In his suggestion on way out, industry security expert, Group Capt. John Ojikutu (retd), said cost of fuel had for long been a major complaint of high cost to airline operations and, “To end it, there must be an alternative to bringing the supply of fuel from Atlas Cove through Ejigbo to the airport.”

“All these contribute about 30 per cent to the costs of aviation fuel which can be reduced to about 10 per cent if the pipelines from Mosimi/Ejigbo to airports are repaired.

“There is also the danger of contamination through the use of trucks most of which are used for supplying other petroleum products.”