Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika says he is deeply worried over the threats by Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON,to shut down operations next week as a result of rising cost of Jet A1, otherwise known as aviation fuel.
“As the Ministry charged with the management of the industry, we are greatly concerned about the difficulties being faced by the airline operators in the country in procuring aviation fuel which has resulted in spiraling costs in Air transportation in the immediate past”.
In a statement, the Minister says,while the efforts to assuage the situation are on, he appealed to the airline operators, to consider the multiplier effect of shutting down operations, on Nigerians and global travellers, in taking their business-informed d even in the difficult situation,decisions and actions.
He says, unfortunately the issue of fuel supply is not within the purview of the Ministry and so the much it can do in the present situation is to engage with agencies, institutions and individuals in positions to provide succor to the airlines and this is already being done by the relevant team led by himself.
Sirika stressed that, “While we acknowledge that the airline operators are in the business to make profits, while servicing the very critical sector that is not only the preferred mode of transport for most Nigerians, but also the main international gateway to the nation”.
He assured Nigerians, especially stakeholders in the sector, that the Buhari administration remains stoic in its commitment to the creation and sustenance of an environment that promotes the growth of the aviation industry where major players like the airlines can operate in a profitable and competitive market.