Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, says the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s refineries will soon be producing aviation fuel.
Kachikwu, who met with Hadi Sirika, his counterpart in the aviation ministry, said that although the refineries are not producing aviation fuel for now, efforts will be made in due course to provide the enablers that would ensure local production in the near future.
According to a statement released by Garba Deen Muhammad, group general manager of NNPC’s public affairs division, Kachikwu received the minister of state for aviation and his team of directors at the NNPC Towers on Tuesday.
Muhammad said Sirika and Kachikwu have pledged to work together to eliminate the noticeable challenge faced by airline operators in accessing aviation fuel for their daily operations.
Kachikwu said that the supply and distribution of JET A1 is out of government control because it has since been deregulated. But he added that a meeting of importers of aviation fuel would soon be convened to address all challenges impeding the seamless supply of the product.
Kachikwu, who also doubles as the group managing director of the NNPC, said the corporation would look into the import and sale of aviation fuel to understand and tackle the problem.
“The immediate action point for now is to meet with all the importers of aviation fuel; we want to understand the consumption pattern and also look at their cost to ensure that they are not profiteering excessively,” he said.
Sirika also noted that the need to ensure availability of JET A1 fuel has become imperative, seeing that the product accounts for about 45 percent of the total cost of operation.
The scarcity of aviation fuel has been hampering operations in the aviation industry, forcing some airlines to purchase JET A1 fuel from neighbouring countries at added cost.