Illegal fuel suppliers in Nigerian airports apprehended

Illegal fuel suppliers in Nigerian airports apprehended

Following investigations by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, some illegal suppliers of fuel to unsuspecting Nigerian airlines have been uncovered.

The NCAA during it’s investigations which sought to find out the source of jet fuel contamination, which Max Air was a victim, discovered that some unapproved JET A1 marketers had infiltrated Nigerian airports and are supplying the commodity to them.

Speaking on the matter, the Director-General, NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, revealed that the infiltration of unregistered marketers was discovered during a meeting with the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission/Department of Petroleum Resources.

Captain Musa made this known during a Zoom meeting with aviation correspondents on Thursday.

According to him, the unregistered fuel suppliers were operating illegally within Nigeria’s airports as the authority was furnished with a list of approved aviation fuel companies by the DPR, but discovered that some suppliers currently operating at the airports were not on the list.

He said the NCAA is currently making efforts while consulting the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria in a bid to barr all illegal suppliers of fuel in Nigerian airports.

He said, “Investigation is ongoing, we are doing this in collaboration with the DPR and we have got the list of all companies approved by the DPR; we found out that some were not approved, we will write FAAN about this to ensure they withdraw their services until they meet all requirements.

“Any Jet A1 supplier must be approved because it needs a lot of standards. Although, there was a gap between the DPR and NCAA, that has been closed. The issue of fuel contamination is not acceptable; no international airline has also reported fuel contamination but it is an alarming thing that needs to be looked into. We have set up a committee comprising representatives of relevant agencies to look at the entire system and make recommendations. But, it is still the responsibility of the airline, the pilot to check his fuel.”

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A source had also revealed that the Authority has identified the companies involved in the recent sale of contaminated aviation fuel to MaxAir.

According to the source, “The three oil companies that sold the fuel have been identified in the course of its investigation.”

It is hopes than the defaulting suppliers be dealt with in line with constitutional provisions.

Meanwhile, the DG-CA in his speech, also recalled the recent Jabiru Aircraft crash which occurred in Lagos earlier in the week.

Nuhu said while some unprofessional comments were made in view of the accident, the Nigeria Safety Investigation Bureau had the capability to investigate the cause of the crash.

He said, “I cannot comment on the cause. It is very unfortunate and it was just by the grace of God that it wasn’t disastrous. I have full confidence in the ability of the NSIB, people should avoid mere speculation, NSIB will release the report very shortly but what I have found disappointing is the comments against the Director, Airworthiness Services.

“The. Director of Airworthiness is very competent and before he was seconded to the NCAA, he had a life, he does not own the aircraft. He submitted letters of resignations from all the companies he worked for; he is even the one that has identified some of these illegal fuel companies, despite unnessary dragging of his name.”

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