The price of Jet fuel has almost tripled in Nigeria over the last year, and now carriers are considering reducing flights into the country due to a fuel crisis that local media has called “panicked.” The aviation fuel in question, Jet-A1, must be imported, and with the naira’s collapse entering its third year, Muhammadu Buhari’s government still cleaves to a monetary policy that makes sourcing foreign exchange almost impossible, with the requisite dollars unavailable to importers at the interbank market rate. In short, fuel service providers can’t buy the stuff.
Ghana sought to capitalize on Nigeria’s woes, slashing fuel costs by 20 percent earlier this year to attract carriers, however local media have reported that similar problems have now beset Ghana.
According to The Guardian – a Nigerian news outlet, not to be confused with the British national daily – airlines with Nigerian passengers have begun to detour through Libreville, Gabon, for fuel.
Over the last year, the cost of aviation fuel has risen from US$0.33 to $0.86 per liter in northern parts of the country.
Nigeria is the world’s 12th largest oil producer by volume, and Nigerian carriers have pushed for government intervention, including calls for the federal government to refine the product locally. But, as with much of the country’s energy ambitions, corruption and red tape are impeding progress.
Nogie Meggison, chairman of the airline operators of Nigeria (AON), told The Guardian that, “consistent shortage of the product for airlines to conduct their operations led to reduction in operations by 50 percent.”
Meggison added that, “We have been forced to cry out about the perennial problem at this juncture because it continues to put us in a difficult situation to go an extra mile to fulfill our obligations to our esteemed customers despite the inconveniences that go with it.”