Ghanaian President John Mahama has announced a reduction of the price of aviation fuel in the country by 20 per cent.
According to ATQ News, the objective of the price cut is to further improve the volumes of airlines that fly into the country.
Experts are saying the slash may not be unconnected with a bid to overtake Nigeria as the main hub of the aviation industry in West Africa.
For instance, while a litre of aviation fuel sells for at least 200 naira ($0.62)in Nigeria, it currently goes for 1.98 Cedi ($0.48), against G2.48 Cedi ($0.63) it sold till June.
Though Ghanaian officials refused to link the price war with the difficulty that airlines are having in fuelling their planes in Nigeria, they confirmed the objective is to further improve the volumes of flights into their country thereby making it the most viable refuelling centre in the ECOWAS region.
Nigeria had been serving as the main refuelling centre for most international flights through West Africa, being the only oil producing country and the 6th most prominent member of OPEC.
But this is about to change following Nigeria’s economic recession, which has seen it passing through the worst dollar scarcity in its history.
Few days ago, 14 airlines reportedly withdrawn their services from Nigeria due to low patronage on account of the economic recession.
The situation is not helped by the failure of government to manage its refineries, leaving prices of oil products to the mercy of marketers.
Even the Ghanaian President, John Mahama was vocal in telling the world of the dream of his country “to play vital role in business direction of West Africa, with aviation industry as focus.”
He said his government’s vision of making Accra the preferred aviation hub in West Africa was on track, adding that the increase in traffic into Accra, particularly transit traffic, and coupled with other incentives are to attract investors.
To be fully ready for its new responsibilities, two airports are being expanded to ease the pressure on them, of which are now billed to contain between 5 and 6.5 million passengers annually.
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