President Bola Tinubu approved the establishment of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas initiative. This initiative aims to lower energy costs for Nigerians by promoting the use of CNG.
According to Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, the initiative’s objectives include the conversion of more than 11,500 new vehicles to CNG and the distribution of around 55,000 CNG conversion kits for existing petrol vehicles. This plan is designed to align with the presidential directive that emphasizes in-country manufacturing, local assembly, and job creation.
Concerns were been raised by experts in the oil and gas industry about the potential affordability of converting vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) usage for the Nigerian population. These concerns were voiced through individual interviews, with the experts suggesting that government subsidies might be necessary to make CNG adoption a viable option for Nigerians. While they appreciated the government’s efforts to reduce the impact of fuel subsidy removal by promoting CNG, the experts also highlighted issues regarding the skills and capacity of the workforce involved in the conversion process.
Abayomi Olarinoye, the National Chairman of the Liquified Petroleum Gas Retailers (LPGAR), emphasized the importance of thoroughness in the conversion process. He urged the government to ensure that only skilled professionals with adequate training and proper equipment engage in the conversion work, thus preventing potential fraudulent practices. Olarinoye emphasized that safety standards must be strictly adhered to, with no compromises that could expose citizens to risks during or after the conversion.
Reportedly, petroleum marketers in Nigeria have also joined in equipping their filling stations with conversion kits for vehicle usage. Asian manufacturers with expertise in vehicle conversion have entered Nigeria to facilitate the conversion process for cars to run on autogas, LPC, LNG, and CNG. Around 7,000 additional filling station owners have registered their outlets to participate in autogas dispensing projects, further promoting the adoption of alternative fuels such as CNG and LPG.
As the Nigerian government endeavours to promote CNG usage through various initiatives and partnerships, ensuring affordability, safety, and competent implementation will be critical factors in achieving successful adoption by the population.
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