…As aviation fuel hits N260 per litre
By Louis Ibah, Adewale Sanyaolu and Basil Obasi
Kerosene scarcity continued to worsen across major cities in the country as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reports on energy prices for the month of January indicated that the average price per litre paid by consumers increased to N433.84 throughout the month, representing 93.19 percent
The NBS report also explained that the commodity increased by 87.12 percent year-on-year and 93.19 percent month-on-month to N433.84 in January 2017 from N231.85 in December 2016.
The development may not be unconnected with the epileptic performance of the four refineries producing far below capacity utilisation, coupled with the inability of the state oil corporation to maintain consistent importation to augment local production.
The NBS in the report disclosed that the states with the highest average price per litre of kerosene included Sokoto, Niger and Edo; where a litre of the product was sold for N647.6, N625.00 and N560 respectively. It sold for N324.44 per litre, in Ogun while in Zamfara, it sold for N300.00 and with Plateau’s N270.00 being the lowest average price per litre of kerosene during the month under review.
In a similar report, the NBS revealed that the average price paid by consumers for premium motor spirit (petrol) increased by 35.7 per cent year-on-year and 1.35 per cent month-on-month to N148.7 in January 2017 from N146.7 in December 2016.
According to the report, states with the highest average price of premium motor spirit (petrol) were Borno which had the product sold for N164.09, followed by Oyo state where it sold for N161.00; and Ebonyi where a litre of petrol went for N156.47.
Abuja recorded the least price of N144.20 per litre, while Ekiti and Imo, the product was sold for N144.64 on the average with Kogi state, selling for N144.67.
Also the NBS reported that the average price paid by consumers for automotive gas oil (diesel) increased by 22.56 per cent year-on-year and 50.06 per cent month-on-month to N240.52 in January 2017 from N196.20 in December 2016.
An analysis of the report shows that Abuja and Bayelsa recorded the highest diesel price hike of N270 followed by Delta and Cross River with average price of N256.77 & N256.36 respectively.
Meanwhile, local airline operators in Nigeria at the weekend bemoaned the rising cost of aviation fuel (popularly known as Jet A1) which soared above N260 per litre.
“We bought Jet A 1 in Lagos throughout the weekend for N260 per litre and this is the highest pump price we have bought in NIgeria,” an airline official told Daily Sun on Sunday. “If you take into account the fact that fuel accounts for more than 40–45 per cent of our overhead, you will appreciate the fact that airlines are in a serious financial crisis in Nigeria,” added the official who wouldn’t want to be named.
Nigeria’s aviation industry has been hit by severe scarcity of Jet A1 especially between 2015 and 2016, with prices rising steadily from N120 per litre in 2015 to N150, 180 and 120 eventually steadying at N240 per litre for the latter part of 2016.
The scarcity and exorbitant cost had resulted in several scheduled commercial flights either rescheduled or cancelled with attendant hardship or frustration to passengers. And the industry is reported to be losing about N400million due to the crisis caused by flight delays and cancellations. Daily Sun however learnt that over the weekend it had become almost impossible for airline owners to source for fuel to power aircraft in their fleet and that the huge demand had forced the few marketers who still had the product at their depots in Lagos to sell at N260 per litre to airlines. Outside Lagos, pump price price of Jet A1 is said to have gone above N265 per litre, as industry sources soaring fuel prices as one of the factors responsible for the misfortunes some local airlines suffered lately.