OrderPaperToday – The proposed strike action by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) scheduled to commence on Monday has been called off.
This followed two other short and long-term resolutions reached at a four-hour meeting between the leadership of the House of Representatives and stakeholders in the aviation sector on Monday in Abuja.
For the short term, it was resolved that six million litres should be supplied to airline operators for three months at the rate of N480 per litre. While for the long term, it was resolved that licences be granted to airline operators to import their aviation fuel.
Earlier, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila while reacting to the strike threat, expressed worries that a shutdown of the aviation sector amounts to shutdown of the nation’s economy.
Speaking on behalf of the Airline Operators of Nigeria, Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema noted that if the aviation sector is shut down, it will definitely affect the economy including loss of jobs.
Onyema alleged that 25,000 metric tons of aviation fuel was recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for distribution to airline operators, but the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited held on to it.
According to him, they insisted on using their own marketers for the distribution; a development that the airline operators opposed vehemently. He stressed that they indicated their preference to use marketers among themselves. This he said resorted to the strike threat.
The Leadership of the House, in this regard, demanded that the airline operators submit a list of their preferred marketers for easy distribution of the aviation fuel. This, the airline operators did while at the meeting.
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In reaction to the allegation, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari said it was agreed that the marketers will sell the aviation fuel at N500 for three days but as it is known, the market price shifts.
“No two suppliers have the same price. We can not fix the price of aviation fuel. The only way to fix price is if there is a subsidy on it,” he said.