CNG: Govt to ensure low cost vehicles’ conversion, rolls out 11,500 buses

“The FG has already ordered 55,000 conversion kits as part of the immediate palliative to ease conversion”

By Nudoiba Ojen

The Federal Government has assured vehicle owners of low cost of conversion of petrol and diesel vehicles to run on compressed natural gas (CNG)

As part of measures to ease current transportation challenges, the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (PCNGI) also said it has concluded plans to deploy 11,500 gas powered buses across the country from next week.

PCNGI Project Director, Micheal Oluwagbemi, said state governments had already indicated investment interest in the CNG buses with a view to ease the transportation challenges of the state.

Oluwagbemi, who spoke at the State House, Abuja on Saturday while delivering two CNG buses, said “over 11,500 CNG fueled vehicles will be rolled out by partnership with private sector, cooperative, state and union operated mass transit operators in the same period.”

On the cost of conversion, the project director, who assured Nigerians of lower cost of conversion to CNG vehicles, saying it would vary with the type and vehicle model, assured that the government was working on reducing costs per vehicle.

He said, “The current cost of conversion varies from the model and type of vehicle, but the President has ensured that as part of PCNGI, we will look into that cost by helping and incentivising Nigerians”.

He also disclosed that the Federal Government had already ordered 55,000 conversion kits as part of the immediate palliative, to ease conversion

The committee said: “In the next few weeks, starting from Lagos, the PCNGI will establish the roll out of more conversion centers to enable 55,000 conversions in the next 6 months under the palliative programme.”

The Managing Director of OMAA Motors, Chinedu Oguegbu, lauded the government for the initiative, adding that “asides connecting to the energy transition, we’re also now deepening industrialization by patronizing made in Nigeria vehicles.

”This will go beyond the natural gas value-chain, this is going to create thousands of jobs for the youths and not just like basic tech, what we’re talking about natural gas vehicles, as we progress in Nigeria and after coming up, the technology that we’ll develop here, the talents that we’ll build here, we’ll be able to use this and export to other African countries that have similar initiatives.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Chairman of the Presidential CNG Initiative Steering Committee, Zacch Adedeji, said the handover of CNG buses to the State House, commemorated “a pivotal step in our journey towards a cleaner, more sustainable, and economically sound future”.

Adedeji, represented by the Authority Chief Executive Officer of the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authourity (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, said, “The buses running on CNG are not just a technical achievement, but a symbol of this administration’s commitment to spearheading an energy revolution.

“I’m pleased to announce that there are currently, seven conversion centres in Nigeria and the government is actively working to establish more of them. These plans will be rolled out, starting this afternoon, by the initiative.

”This project is not only about conversion of vehicles, but also about generating employment opportunities. It demonstrates President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to both environmental sustainability and economic growth.

“Moreover, it is my pleasure as your Chief Tax Officer, a position I hold alongside as Chairman of this initiative, to announce that we will be waiving the Value Added Tax on CNG purchases as well as seeking duty waivers for value-chain. The goal is to build a sustainable future, leveraging our own cheap and clean energy source; gas,” he said.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State described the move bold decision to move from petroleum to gas, adding that “This is the first in major changes to come. We all know that apart from having abundant gas resources, I think number eight in the world in gas reserves, gas is a cheaper means of transportation, cheaper means of energy.

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