Major fuel marketers in Nigeria have appealed to the federal government not to step into the commercial-related issues in aviation fuel supply.
John Abegunde, a representative of aviation fuel marketers said getting involved in the commercial side of aviation fuel may jeopardize safety in the system.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) National Aviation Conference (FNAC) with the theme: ‘Advancing the Frontiers of Possibilities for Safe, Secure and Profitable Air Transport’, in Abuja on Wednesday, Abegunde explained that the The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other government agencies should rather be more concerned about the stringency of the aviation fueling requirement.
He added that the fuel marketers subscribed to joint ownership of aviation companies, but kicked against the throughput arrangement, which he said may work against the industry growth in the future.
“We should be wary of portfolio investors who come in when there are opportunities in the sub-sector, but moves out with their briefcases immediately there is a challenge,” he said.
Also, speaking at the event, Bashir Ahmed, the vice-chairman, the Aviation Ground Handling Association of Nigeria (AGHAN), decried the level of infrastructure at most the airports, saying that it limited the turnaround time of operators at the apron.
According to Ahmed, the scarcity of foreign exchange further reduces the operations and expansion of ground handling businesses in Nigeria.
He appealed to the Federal Government to take a critical look at the challenges in the industry and devise a means of addressing them.
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He, however, lauded FAAN for installing two explosive detective scanning machines each at the warehouses of the ground handling companies in Lagos, saying this had gone a long way to enhance the performances of the handling companies in the industry.
He added: “We still want to appeal to the Federal Government to grant waivers to handling companies on importation of ground handling equipment. Also, we need more scanning machines by FAAN to further improve our operations and create seamless services to our clients and the airlines.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has also done well with its regulation of the industry. This shows that the Nigerian aviation industry is changing. ”