Monday, 1 August 2016

Nigeria's Aviation News Headlines for Monday August 1, 2016
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Marketers Accused of Raking in Profits Selling Aviation Fuel as Kerosene(Thisday)

As the price of kerosene continues to soar because of inadequate supply, marketers have been accused of selling Jet A1, better known as aviation fuel, as kerosene, in the process making a kill of N50-N100 per litre.

The diversion of the product to fuel outlets where it is sold as household kerosene has also been blamed for the scarcity of Jet A1 and several flight cancellations and delays in the aviation sector in the last one month, THISDAY has learnt.

Kerosene and jet fuel are nearly identical in every way except for a few additives in modern jet fuel, with industry experts describing the latter as nothing other than cleaner kerosene with no sulphur content.

However, the scarcity of foreign exchange in the country has made it very difficult for oil marketers to import and supply petroleum products that would sufficiently meet the needs of consumers.

As such, several marketers have started diverting Jet A1 to fuel outlets where it is sold as kerosene at a higher price than aviation fuel.

Aviation fuel sells for between N198 and N200 in Lagos while kerosene goes for N200 to N300 per litre.

THISDAY investigations revealed that marketers now prefer to sell Jet A1 as kerosene after degrading it and that explains the scarcity of aviation fuel in the past one month, leading to flight cancellations and delays.

Informed sources confirmed that aviation fuel is highly refined kerosene with zero sulphur, which when used for cooking leaves the pot without soot.

But instead of importing kerosene, oil marketers import aviation fuel because almost all modern refineries in the world no longer refine kerosene owing to the low demand for the product as a heating oil in several countries.


Government Can No Longer Finance Airports, Says Minister(Guardian)

• Plans increased flight frequency for foreign airlines operators
It is no longer wise for government to bear the burden of managing airports, said Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
According to the Minister, dwindling revenue, high rate of foreign exchange and demands of global best practices, make the need for Public Private Partnership inevitable.
Interacting with reporters in Abuja, yesterday, Sirika said the truth is: government cannot continue to support and finance airports because it has limited resources.
He called on entrepreneurs with knowledge in airports’ management to come forward and bid for the Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt facilities.
The Minister stressed that concession could take a long time, as government intends to follow due process, adding that the Ministry is in the process of acquiring the service of a transaction adviser and that the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission
(ICRC) has given the Ministry the support it needs for a smooth process.

Foreign Airlines Set To Increase Frequency In Nigeria(Leadership, New Telegraph)

Minister of State  Aviation, Sen.Hadi Sirika, over the weekend said, government would give consideration to requests by serious foreign airlines for increased flight frequencies as long as the nation’s interests are not compromised.
This is even as the federal government has promised to improve the economic and operational viability of the nation’s designated international airports by creating the enabling environment for international airlines operating in Nigeria to use them.
The minister who made these promises while receiving the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Hakan Cakil in his office, said the nation’s relationship with foreign airlines would be based strictly on the Bilateral Air Services Agreements with the Airline’s home
He informed the Ambassador of government’s determination to revamp the aviation sector through the concessioning of its airports, beginning with “the big four” in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.
The concession, he said, is to address issues of infrastructure, and ensure world class maintenance.
In his remark, the Turkish Ambassador, Hakan Cakil told the Minister that he was in the Ministry to express his country’s gratitude for the excellent relationship between the two countries, especially in the aviation sector, and to explore more areas of cooperation.

Domestic Airlines Seek Urgent Bailout to Stay Afloat(Sun)

Investors in Nigeria’s domestic airline business are seeking a direct Federal Gov­ernment financial bailout to salvage the industry from im­minent collapse.
Chairman of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Capt. Nogie Meggison, in a statement at the weekend, said the industry had sunk into its worst form of financial woes and that only the government could rally round the rest of the stakeholders in the aviation
sector to provide the life-line to keep the airline industry alive.
“We therefore call on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, come up with a strategy to bring all par­ties to the negotiating table to seek, for the first time, direct intervention funding to air­ lines in the interest of saving the aviation system from col­
lapse , considering that with­out the airlines, there is no aviation,” said Meggison.
“It must also be put on re­cord that Nigerian airlines cre­ate about 90 per cent of the full time employment in our avia­tion sector today, both locally and internationally, and we remain a pivot to the Nigerian economy and one of the main catalysts to economic
recovery and national progress through the critical services we provide daily,” the AON boss added.
Meggison said in the last 30 years the domestic airline in­dustry had never received any form of financial assistance from the Federal Government, pointing out that contrary to widely-held opinion, no airline benefited from the Aviation In­tervention Fund of 2011.

Workers Oppose FG’s Plan to Concession Airports (Thisday)
Workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) under the auspices of the Air Transport
Service Senior Staff Association and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) have
rejected the plan by the federal government to concession four major airports in the country located in
Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt.
This was disclosed to THISDAY at the weekend by the Assistant General Secretary of NUATE, Mr.
Olayinka Abioye, who accused government of not putting the interest of the workers into
consideration. He vowed that the workers would resist the plan to concession the airports, recalling
that when the defunct Nigeria Airways was liquidated, the workers were left to die without their pay off
or pensions, which rose to over N72billion.

 ‘Cargo Airports without Facilities Won’t Work’ (Nation)
Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL) Managing Director Mr. Rizwan Kadri believes it is
good that some states are considering having cargo airports. But he advises that the airports must
have amenities to facilitate exports. Read this interview by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor:
Some states are building cargo airports to promote agro-allied exports.
What should be done to ensure they succeed?
The cargo sub-sector is one of the most prominent, viable and promising of all the sectors in the
aviation industry; most of the airlines earn a lot of revenue from this sector. Yes, it is a good idea, but
then, merely announcing cargo airports without adequate facilities will not work. So, whatever they are
doing has to be planned. Building cargo airports where you have the farmers but without
infrastructure, such as good road network around them, cold room, as well as other storage facilities,
will be tantamount to mere jamboree.

EFCC Visits NAHCO(Nation, DailyTimes)

Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) visited the corporate headquarters of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company ( NAHCO), Plc at the weekend, its spokesman, Tayo Ajakaye said yesterday.
According to Ajakaye , the anti – graft agency visit to cargo handling firm was basically for facts finding,
He said an EFCC operative during the visit requested to see the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Mr Norbert Bielderman, who is out of the country .
He said the absence of the firm’s CEO , the EFCC operative requested to see the firm’s Executive Director / Company Secretary, Mrs Folashade Ode, who was also out of the premises at the time
He said unable to meet any of the two senior officials of NAHCO, the EFCC operative requested to see the Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Bamidele Adelaja, with whom they spent some time sorting out some company documents of interest.

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