The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had uncovered four non-licensed suppliers of aviation fuel (popularly known as Jet A1), across the country.
This followed the recent incident of contamination of aviation fuel which could have led to catastrophe in the aviation sector.
NCAA, who did not name the culprits, said the fuelers penetrated the airports without due process, noting that it is the collaboration with the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) that led to identifying them.
This was disclosed in Abuja yesterday during the inauguration of a 35-member joint NCAA audit committee of all aviation fuel activities in Nigeria.
The committee members are drawn from the NCAA, Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Department of State Services (DSS), NMDPRA and the Association of fuel Marketers in Nigeria.
Members of the committee are expected to conduct a holistic review and audit all fuelers, fueling facilities and equipment from the initial source of the fuel to the point of fueling into the aircraft within 60 days.
Speaking during the inauguration, the director general of NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu said the task to be undertaken by the committee was not targeted at witch- hunting any marketer.
Nuhu who was represented by the Director of Operations, Licencing and Training Standards, Capt. Ibrahim Dambazau said: “Recently, there have been a series of incidents relating to fuel contamination, in particular, that of Max Air fuel contamination in Yola that has generated a lot of attention in the country and all over the world. This has created a negative publicity in the industry and a level of fear amongst the public which is justified.”
The director of Airworthiness in NCAA, Engr. Abatan Gbolahan, while speaking on the status of the fuelers and how the non-licenced fuelers were discovered, said: “Before this time, the regulation has been there for every fuel marketing company to get registered by NMDPRA and after that registration, they will still have to come to NCAA for the second process of registration before they will be allowed to get to airport area to do their business but somewhere along the line, we had some marketers penetrating the system without due process.
“We discovered it and a letter was written to NMDPRA to identify the status of all the companies who are supposed to be marketers and they sent us the list and their status.
“We were able to separate those who are actively in service, those whose licences have expired and those who didn’t have any form of certificate to do the business were flushed out of the airport not to supply fuel anymore.”
“The Authority has not been sleeping and have taken steps in the aftermath of the incidents which included the investigation of all the incidents that have been reported, collaboration with sister agencies in the aviation industry like Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) that issue licences, and Department of State Security (DSS).