The failure of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make foreign exchange available despite promises has further worsened the scarcity of aviation fuel, leading to multiple problems for airline operators, The Punch reports.
The chronic scarcity of aviation fuel, popularly known as Jet A1, which has dragged on for several months, has grown worse in the past three weeks mainly as a result of the inability of the CBN to provide foreign exchange to importers despite many promises to do so.
According to oil traders and operators in the airline business, the CBN, in its bid to avert the scarcity of petroleum products during the Yuletide, asked banks to submit bids for a “special currency auction” on December 5, 2016, which targeted fuel importers in order to meet the demand for imports.
But three weeks after the supposed intervention by the CBN and compliance by some banks, it was gathered that no oil marketer had received any forex. This, according to operators in both the aviation and oil sectors, has further worsened the chronic scarcity of Jet A1 in the past two to three weeks.
It was, however, learnt that the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had to swiftly intervene in order to avert the cancellation of flights on a larger scale by domestic airlines as a result of the scarcity of aviation fuel.