Presidency, on Sunday, assured Nigerians that the planned rollout of Compressed Natural Gas buses will reduce CNG price to N230 per kg.
The Presidency disclosed this amid plans by the government to deploy 11,500 gas-powered buses across the country from next week to ease current transportation challenges.
Special Assistant to the President on Special Duties and Domestic Affairs, Toyin Subaru said the initiative would help Nigerians save two-thirds on transportation costs and promote the use of CNG as an alternative to petrol.
Subaru made this known at a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Bank of Industry headquarters, on Sunday in Abuja.
The meeting was aimed at formalising a partnership with the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, FEMADEC group, among others to facilitate sustainable transportation in Nigeria.
According to him, “Now, with this CNG plan, we don’t even have to import what we need to operate our vehicles. It is called CNG and we have the gas here in Nigeria. So, the idea is just to take the gas to distribute it across Nigeria via different truck stations.
“Most gas is not CNG enabled yet and what we are doing is to help them convert their cars so you can use petrol and CNG at the same time.
“We are going to develop an app that will enable you locate where a CNG station is located. We should be able to buy gas for our cars at N230 per KG as against the cost of petrol which is N680 per litre. This should help every Nigerian save about two-thirds of their transport cost.”
The presidential aide added that the Federal Government plans to have one million CNG vehicles on Nigerian roads by 2027.
Programme Director, the Presidential CNG Initiative, Micheal Oluwagbemi, on his part, said the government intends to establish 1000 conversion workshops across the country.
He added that the initiative would help provide over 50,000 jobs and cushion the effect of subsidy removal.
Oluwagbemi said, “Our goal in the presidential CNG initiative, as stated by the President in his October 1st speech is to make 55,000 conversion kits immediately available to the Nigerian public so that we can begin to jumpstart the CNG revolution.
“The palliative programme as described by the president will last until March 31, 2024. So, technically speaking, we are expected to roll out 55,000 within that time frame.
“Given of course naturally, we are quite a bit constrained when it comes to the number of workshops and there’s a reason why we’re here today. We only have seven functional workshops in the country. In our estimate, we need about 1000 to be able to achieve our goal.”
The programme director added that with an ongoing partnership with relevant stakeholders, 55,000 CNG conversion kits for existing PMS-dependent vehicles will be launched within the time frame specified by the President.
He said, “Today, we’re rolling out our initial partnership because there’ll be more partners, and there’ll be more investors in the sub-sector with four, one of them being a national Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology to roll out an additional seven workshops in the next 14 days.
“We believe they can do more but what we will have to do is to double what they have in 14 days and from there we can start doubling after 14 days, in that way we can be able to get closer to our goal of having workshops everywhere there is CNG in Nigeria so that we can convert those 55, 000 vehicles.
“We have a goal, one million vehicles by the year 2027, and that allows Nigeria to save about $20bn in ten years and also allows us to manage transport inflation.
“You will have five people working there in two days. So, if we have 1,000 workshops, we are talking about 5,000 jobs for technicians, including the cost of the labor and manpower that will go into the increased supply of CNG, processing stations, model stations, and refueling stations that will not run on this ecosystem.
“So, the number of jobs that will be rolling out under this program, even under the pilot phase in six months, easily with support of about 50,000 jobs, 50,000 jobs that never existed before that will be supported by this programme.”