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Nigerian govt hoping on Dangote refinery to solve scarcity, high price of aviation fuel

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Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, has said the country’s shortage of jet A1 and high cost will persist till the Dangote and Port Harcourt refineries commence operations.

He also noted that the challenges around aviation fuel will only be handled in a long-term manner once these refineries are operational.

He stated this during an interview with newsmen at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.

Sirika said, “The scarcity and high cost of Jet A1 in civil aviation, is not peculiar to Nigeria. It is a global phenomenon driven by many factors. Some of them include even low capacity to refine the product.

“It is also in high demand around the world, it has increased activity and increased the number of airplanes out there and users of this jet A1. Plus, also the Ukraine crisis and many more.

“It is a time when crude itself is so expensive today, it is in the hundreds of dollars per barrel and not only the high cost of Jet A1 product in Nigeria. Also, the peculiarity of the fact that we’re not refining the product, so to speak.

“And I did address the press a couple of days ago, saying that, by the grace of God, perhaps once the Dangote refinery is online or if the government fixes the Port Harcourt refinery, which is now ongoing, we will begin to refine this product and sell it.”

Read also: Police foils attack on Dangote refinery in Lagos

Local airlines, according to him, have agreed to designate a member or another large oil marketer to be authorized to import the product in order to manage the situation under the aegis of the Airline Operators of Nigeria.

“Then also get the necessary foreign exchange for that purpose. And that will increase more supply and perhaps drive down the cost. We hope that this is a temporary thing, and hope that Jet A1 will be very available everywhere and at a very good price,” the Minister added.

Two weeks ago, Sirika had pleaded with Nigerian airlines to postpone a planned shutdown due to the exorbitant cost of aviation fuel, which had risen from N190 to N700 per litre.

The minister encouraged the airlines to examine the impact of suspending operations on Nigerians and international travellers.

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