By Paschal Emeka, Abuja | September 1 2022
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Isiaka Oladayo Amao, has expressed discontent over the current challenges of JET A-1 (aviation fuel) scarcity, saying if the situation persists it could adversely affect NAF air operations in the country.
Air Marshall Amao stated this while delivering a paper entitled, ‘Management of Emerging Air Threat: Implications for Strengthening Governance in Nigeria’ as part of the activities marking Senior Executive Course (SEC) 44 Defence Week of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Study (NIPSS) Kuru, Plateau State, current sales for JET A-1 stand at N950 per litre, as opposed to the N360 per litre appropriated in the NAF 2022 budget.
According to him, the current cost, and the implication was far beyond the NAF budgetary provision in which NAF requires the Federal Government to quickly intervene to ensure safe air operations in the country.
He stated that the way out of the predicament as an interim measure is for the Federal Government to grant NAF operational licences and provide the necessary infrastructure to independently import and bridge the aviation fuel scarcity by the first quarter of 2023.
Air Marshall Amao further advised that to cushion the scarcity, a coastal reception depot could be built for the NAF as an immediate measure, where special trucks would move the fuel from the reception depot to operation units.
On airport security, the Chief of Air Staff said the Nigeria Air Force coordinates with the other airport security agencies, adding that the NAF Special Operations Force and Quick Response unit have been responding to the emerging threats across the country.
“NAF has consolidated the security of international airports through the activities of Mobile Field Defence Teams that are deployed at the airports,” he said.
To mitigate challenges militating against robust airspace management, Air Marshall Amao recommended that the Federal Government should commence implementation of the military component of the TRACON project by the third quarter of 2023.
On internal threats, the Air Force boss said the report indicated that some arms used to perpetuate insecurity in Nigeria came from the various conflict zones in the sub-region coupled with the proliferation of small arms.
The Chief of Air Staff pointed out that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Nigeria Air Force and the Nigeria Air Space Management Agency is currently being reviewed and will improve cooperation and coordination in several areas, including research and development.