The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has denied claims that the price of Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK), also known as jet fuel, is N700 per litre.
Clement Isong, Executive Secretary of MOMAN, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.
On Friday, Air Operators of Nigeria (AON) had threatened to shut down services on May 9, citing the high cost of aviation fuel.
The group, however, suspended the strike following calls from the federal government and other aviation stakeholders.
Speaking on the matter, Isong said he was not “aware that aviation fuel is currently being sold anywhere at 700 naira per litre”, noting that there was an intervention by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd., (NNPC) which now brings ATK.
“It goes into the tank, all charges, at around N500 per litre. If we use Ikeja (Murtala Mohammed airport, local, as a reference, then it is sold to traders at 540 to 550 naira per litre,” he said.
“Nobody with common sense is going to bring ATK now that NNPC is bringing in products and selling them at a low price.
“NNPC brings in the product because they swap it with crude and when they swap it with crude they use the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) exchange rate of N419 per dollar.
“Meanwhile, the product is deregulated. So no normal person can go and get it at this exchange rate. You cannot use N589 (black market rate) for a dollar to bring in the product and sell at N550 per litre.
“ATK as a product is handled with great care. It is continuously filtered. It is transported by special trucks, so there are additional handling costs.
“Even with these costs it is being sold on the tarmac for between N540 and N550 per liter in Lagos, and by the time you haul it around the country including transport costs it will be selling for around N570 or N580 on the tarmac. furthest airport from Lagos.
“There is nowhere where aviation fuel is sold at N700 per litre.”
According to Isong, the NNPC’s intervention discouraged traders from importing aviation fuel as it would be a bad business decision.
He said surveys conducted by MOMAN also showed that aviation fuel was cheaper in Nigeria compared to other West African countries.
Isong said that in Ghana, aviation fuel is sold at Platt in northwestern Europe more premium or less at $1.25 per litre.
“In Liberia and Sierra Leone, it sells for $5.70 per gallon, which is $1.51 per litre. So those are your prices in West Africa,” Isong said.
“Now if you want to translate that into naira, if you use the NNPC price, which is N540, it’s cheaper, and even if you use the N700 they claim, it’s still cheaper.
“We are not selling it at N700 a liter because of the NNPC intervention. It’s actually about 90 cents per liter with the NNPC price.
However, Isong sympathized with airlines, the federal government and Nigerians who are grappling with the consequences of rising crude oil prices in the international market.
He attributed the rise in the price of crude oil and its derivatives such as aviation fuel, gasoline, diesel and kerosene to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“Airlines know what they want, which justifies raising their airfares. It’s not just aviation fuel that’s increased, although that’s a contributing factor,” he said.
“The operating cost has increased; there is inflation, and anyone doing business will tell you they are in trouble. All businesses are in trouble, including the airlines.
“So maybe they’re looking for a bailout from the feds because everybody needs some kind of bailout right now.”