Oil marketers under the auspices of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) have absolved its members of any blame over rising price of aviation fuel, saying that landing cost is now between N480 and N500 per litre despite the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Plc’s intervention.
Some Airline operators have suspended flight movements across the country on Monday due to high cost of aviation fuel.
But, the marketers in their response on Monday in a statement, attributed the rising cost to post covid effects on world economy and the war between Russia and Ukraine.
“MOMAN wishes to clarify to Nigerians that the situation in Nigeria is not country specific, but a global issue. Aviation fuel (Jet A1), like other petroleum products used in Nigeria is not produced in-country and is subject to international price movements which are currently suffering the twin shock of increased post pandemic demand and the ongoing sanctions against Russia, a large producer of petroleum products. These shocks have seen international trading premiums, costs of vessel freight, and other transport costs skyrocket to worrying levels. Separately, international traders are exploiting the situation by selling only to the highest bidders.
“Verifiable prices in West Africa range from $1.25 per litre in Ghana to as high as $1.51 per litre in Liberia and even then, the product remains scarce across the sub-region. Due to the intervention of NNPC over the last several weeks, aviation fuel is landed into marine terminal tanks in Nigeria at between N480 and N500 per litre depending on the logistics efficiency of the operator.
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“Due to high costs of specific handling of Jet A1 (special transport and continuous filtration), the product is sold on the tarmac at Ikeja (our benchmark), between N540 and N550 per litre and across other airports at between N570 and N580 per litre. During this period of NNPC intervention, as NNPC uses the nominal CBN exchange rate, no independent importer would import aviation fuel as it is unable to access foreign exchange at the same rate, leaving NNPC as the major importer of aviation fuel for now, even though the product is deregulated.
“In comparative terms, the aviation industry is already benefitting from government’s intervention when local prices are compared to West African regional prices, despite the deregulated status of aviation fuel. This situation is hardly sustainable given the already humongous N4 Trillion cost of the PMS subsidy. These interventions are sometimes necessary to mitigate shocks and help the economy, operating environment and the public adjust to the new realities while efforts are being made and innovations introduced to optimize costs and increase efficiencies. These interventions cannot however be permanent in nature. It is our hope that the war in Ukraine comes to a speedy conclusion and the integration of products from the local refineries into the supply chain (Dangote, NNPC and modular refineries) will mitigate the high costs being borne by the government and Nigerians.
“A return to cost recovery and free market and competitive economics (including access to foreign exchange at competitive rates) is inevitable for the sustainability of the production and distribution framework in the petroleum downstream industry. There is an immediate needs to prepare the operating environment and indeed the larger economy for this eventual return”, it stated