•Says crisis threatens business conduct across country

By Yinka Kolawole

IN view of the hike in cost of aviation fuel, known as Jet-A1, which is a significant cost component in airline operations, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has canvassed targeted financing for the aviation sector to ensure the sustenance of the sector in the interim, while affirming that the sustainable solution would be refining Jet-A1 fuel for local consumption.

Director General, LCCI, Dr Chinyere Almona, stated this in a statement made available to Vanguard Newspaper, noting that acute scarcity of aviation Jet A1 has caused intermittent flight delays and cancellations while some airlines have been forced to shut down operations due to the harsh operating environment.

This development, she noted, hampers movement of goods and business conduct across the country.

“With the rising insecurity that has bedevilled our road transport system; a safer option is air transportation. This portends challenges around the movement of goods and business conduct across locations,” she stated.

Almona noted that the business community is concerned about the aviation crisis because of the systemic importance of air travel for the conduct of trade and commerce across borders.

Her words: “The organised private sector urges the government to take immediate steps toward resolving the crisis in the aviation sector. Air transportation is considered one of the safest channels considering the despicable level of insecurity in the country. Hence, resolving the continued fuel crisis facing the safest transport channel is critical for the business community.

“While the government tackles terrorists, bandits, and kidnappers who have taken over major highways in the country, the government must immediately consider involving the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the NNPC in making FOREX available for aviation fuel imports.

“However, the more sustainable solution would be refining Jet-A1 fuel for our local consumption. While we acknowledge that the current energy crisis is real and global, it is aggravating in Nigeria because we do not produce oil.

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