At N220 per litre cost, 500 million litres demands could not be met last year. Consequently, the sector loses over N110 billion to neighbouring Lome, Benin and Accra, Ghana as Nigeria can only supply 500 million litres of fuel to airlines.
The remaining 500 million litres are sourced by airlines in the neighbouring countries annually occasioned by scarcity and high cost of the commodity in Nigeria. Aside that, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the global aviation regulatory body, has also projected that Nigeria will need two billion litres of jet A1 annually by 2030, fuelled by rise in the number of expected travellers.
Because of scarcity that had dogged the sector and the rising price of the commodity, most foreign, domestic and cargo airlines fly across the borders to buy Jet A1. The General Manager/Chief Operating Officer of CITA Group, a major aviation fuel marketing/supply firm, Mr. Betiku Olasimbo, made the disclosure during the launch of a CITA/PUMA partnership. The partnership would see CITA pair up with PUMA, one of the biggest suppliers of jet fuel in the world with fingers in refining, retailing and other aspects of energy chain, to expand its operations and services in the whole of Africa and to bridge the gap in supply chain.
Olasimbo said: “By 2017, we were just able to lift 50 per cent of the one billion litre-capacity. Most airlines tank up in Lome, Accra, and yet, Lagos is second largest airport in Africa which is supposed to present itself as a very strong hub both for passenger traffic and also for cargo.
Most of the big players in cargo come to Lagos, but after they discharge their cargoes, they move to Ghana to tank their fuel.” Meanwhile, there are indications that aviation fuel could rise by between 10 and 20 per cent in the country because of the rise in price of crude oil.
A managing director of one of the domestic airlines, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said presently, Jet A1 costs between N207 and N220 in Lagos, depending on the marketer. The airline chief further disclosed that the price might be up to an all time high of between N250 and N270 per litre.
According to the New Telegram report, aviation fuel costs more in Nigeria and other oil producing countries than their counterparts that do not produce oil. Ghana used to have the highest price for aviation fuel in Africa until the government cut the cost by 20 per cent two years ago. For instance, in Nigeria, despite the stability in the lifting of aviation fuel across the country and the deregulation of the commodity, JET A1 has hit an all-time high of N220 per litre. The skyrocketing price of JET A1 in Nigeria has added more to the operational challenges of airlines, which use 30 per cent of their revenues for fuelling purposes.