The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has refuted claims that the price of aviation turbine kerosene (ATK), also known as aviation fuel, is N700 per litre.
This was made known on Monday by Clement Isong in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) on Friday had threatened to shut down services on May 9, citing high cost of aviation fuel.
The group, however, suspended the strike after appeals by the federal government and other stakeholders in the aviation sector.
Speaking on the issue, Isong said he was not “aware that aviation fuel is sold currently anywhere at N700 per litre,” noting that there has been an intervention by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd., (NNPC) which is now bringing in ATK.
“It gets into tank, all costs together, at about N500 per litre. If we use Ikeja (Murtala Mohammed Airport, local as a benchmark, it is sold thereby marketers between N540 and N550 per litre,” he said.
“Nobody with common sense will go and bring in ATK now that NNPC is bringing in product and selling it cheap.
“NNPC is bringing in the product because it is swapping it with crude and when it swaps it with crude it uses the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) exchange rate of N419 to a dollar.
“Meanwhile, the product is deregulated. So, no normal person can go and get it at that exchange rate. You cannot use N589 (black market rate) to a dollar to bring in the product and sell at N550 per litre.”
“ATK as a product is handled very carefully. It is continuously filtered. It is carried by special trucks, so there are extra handling costs.
“Even with these costs, it is sold at the tarmac between N540 and N550 per litre in Lagos, and by the time you carry it all over the country including transportation cost, it will be sold at about N570 or N580 at the farthest airport from Lagos.
“There is nowhere aviation fuel is sold at N700 per litre.”
According to Isong, the intervention by the NNPC has discouraged marketers from importing aviation fuel because it will be a bad business decision.
He said enquiries made by MOMAN also showed that aviation fuel was cheaper in Nigeria compared to other West African countries.
Isong said in Ghana, aviation fuel is sold at Platt, north-western Europe, plus premium or minus at $1.25 per litre.
“In Liberia and Sierra Leone, it is selling at $5.70 per gallon, which translates to $1.51 per litre. So, those are your west African prices,” Isong said.
“Now, if you want to translate that to naira, if you are using the NNPC price, which is N540, that is cheaper, and even if you use the N700 they are claiming, it is still cheaper.
“We are not selling it at N700 per litre because of the NNPC intervention. It is actually about 90 cents per litre with the NNPC price.”
However, Isong empathised with the airlines, the federal government and Nigerians who are struggling with the consequences of the increase in the price of crude oil at the international market.
He blamed the hike in the price of crude oil and its derivatives such as aviation fuel, petrol, diesel, and kerosene on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“The airlines know what they want, which is justification to increase their airfares. It is not only aviation fuel that has gone up, even though it is a contributory factor,” he said.
“Cost of operation has gone up; there is inflation, and anybody doing business will tell you that they are struggling. All businesses are struggling, including the airlines.
“So, maybe they are looking for a bailout from the federal government because everybody needs some kind of bailout at the moment.”
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