Stephen Ukandu with Agency Report
As part of efforts to find an alternative solution to the soaring cost of fuel following the removal of fuel subsidy, the Federal Government says it has established seven Compressed Natural Gas, CNG, conversion centres across the country.
The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative Steering Committee, which disclosed this Friday, was however, silent on the location of the CNG stations.
Chairman of the Committee, Mr Zacch Adedeji, who made this known while handing over CNG buses to the State House, Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusesan Adebiyi, at the presidential villa, Abuja, said the new innovation was the needed solution to high cost of petrol.
NAN reports that Adedeji who is the acting Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), was represented by Mr Farouk Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
He said the establishment of the CNG conversion centres symbolised the commitment of President Bola Tinubu administration to spearhead energy revolution in the country.
Adedeji said more CNG conversion centres would be established across the country.
He said that the effort was a pivotal step in the country’s journey towards a cleaner and economically sound future.
He added that the project was not only about the conversion of vehicles but also creating employment opportunities.
Adedeji disclosed that FIRS would waive Value Added Tax on CNG purchases and seek duty waivers for the value chain.
He said that the aim was to build a sustainable future leveraging the nation’s cheap and clean energy source.
According to him, it also demonstrates Tinubu’s commitment to environmental sustainability and economic growth.
“This CNG buses to be handed over to the State House are the vanguard of a future, where energy is cleaner and more economical,” he added.
Adedeji appreciated the President for his support and to all those who played a part in the project.
The Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum and Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, said the event marked a new turn in the history of Nigeria as it begins gradual transition from petroleum to gas-powered vehicles.
He said that universities would be the first beneficiaries of the buses, adding that all state governments would key into it.
“For those of us who were in the gas industry, this is what we have been calling for decades.
“Nigeria is a gas country not a crude oil country, 70 percent or thereabout, more of our hydrocarbon is gas. So why are we investing all our time and energy in crude oil?
“Today is a turning point for us that President Tinubu has taken this bold decision to move from petroleum to gas. This is the first step in a major change to come.”
On his part, Mr Chinedu Oguegbu, the Managing Director, OMAA Motors, a Nigerian automobile manufacturer, expressed gratitude to Tinubu for the initiative.
“Aside connecting with the energy transition we are also deepening industrialisation by patronising made-in-Nigeria vehicles.
“This is going to go beyond the natural gas value chain. This is going to create thousands of jobs for the youths,” he said.
Also, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Adebiyi, said the event was the beginning of a new dawn.
“The State House has some fuel dumps and I want to assure you right away that one of our fuel dumps will be converted to CNG with immediate effect to guarantee frequent fueling of the buses and their maintenance.
“The provision of the buses will enhance the efficiency of our staff, enhance their punctuality to work and will also enhance speedy delivery of services in the entire State House.”
NAN reports that the National Economic Council (NEC), on July 20, 2023 endorsed deployment of CNG vehicles for public transportation to cushion the impact of the removal of petroleum subsidies.
The decision was taken after a presentation by Gov. Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra, who headed the NEC Adhoc Committee on cushioning the effect of petrol subsidy removal. (NAN).
Ikengaonline recalls that Gov. Soludo had, in September 2023, performed the groundbreaking ceremony of Kojo Motors Auto Assembly plant for the local assembly of OMAA range of gas-powered mini passenger and commercial buses as well as Chinese range of Yutong passenger and commercial buses located at Umunya, along the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.
The plant is the first indigenous plant to produce CNG buses in Nigeria.
Anambra State, the home of INOSSON Motors, is the leading state in automobile manufacturing in the country.