There’s a huge concern that Nigeria’s  aviation sector is facing its worst challenges in the history of the sector.

The challenges are connected with the unavailability and prohibitive cost of aviation fuel, ordinarily known as Jet A1, and the high exchange rate of the dollar.

Following the high cost of operations, various airlines had to hike air fares while some took the painful decision to close shop thus throwing thousands of their employees into the already saturated unemployment market.

This is not a cheery development.

There’s no doubt that the aviation sector plays a huge role in economic development of the country. Its seeming collapse portends a great danger for Nigeria’s economy and for all those who patronise the sector.

Unfortunately, all players and stakeholders in the sector including the federal government are looking helpless and don’t seem to be coming out with any meaningful solution to the crisis.
The entire scenario is confusing.

While travellers are seeking easy means of avoiding road transportation, which is now replete with kidnappers and bandits, scarcity of aviation fuel and high volatility of foreign exchange are becoming threats in their own ways.

Not too long ago, the minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika, admitted that the federal government was overwhelmed by the multi-pronged crisis rocking the aviation industry, saying there are no immediate solutions to the problem.

But it is heartwarming that efforts could be made at importing the product at an appropriate price, accelerating refurbishment of local refineries and awaiting the coming onstream of Dangote Refinery to boost the supply of the product.

As one of the efforts to make the dollar available at the official market rate, the federal government should discuss with the CBN to assist in buying dollars at the official rate instead of at the black market.

Many questions are being advanced as to why Nigeria’s aviation sector fell to its lowest at this point in time when it is nearly the safest means of travelling.

Though majority of Nigerians cannot afford travelling by air, it affords so many others a better alternative.

The aviation fuel crisis began from N180 per litre and now it’s at N1000 per litre. Officials are raising the alarm that every day, a difference between 10-15 naira is added at the parallel market.

We grieve with the airlines affected adversely by this sudden turn of events and would like to suggest the possibility of seeking a bail-out from the various stakeholders, banks and possibly governments.

The federal government can assist the airlines with tax rebates and other waivers in terms of other numerous charges to the airlines to reduce the impact of the costly aviation fuel.

The ripple effect of the present situation in the Nigerian aviation sector cannot be allowed to continue to swell. The ripple effect is better imagined than seen.

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