DPR moves to reduce N450bn vote for fuel subsidy in 2020 with gas alternatives
... Partners NIPCO on petrol-to-gas vehicle conversion, distribution of gas
by Razaq Ayinla
Having recognised a whooping budgetary allocation of N450 billion voted for under-recovery, otherwise known as subsidy for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the 2020 budget, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has rolled out awareness campaign on the usage of compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative to PMS being currently used by motorists in the country.
Recall that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, in the build-up to the preparation of 2020 Appropriation Bill had declared in Abuja that N450 billion was voted as the under-recovery, otherwise known as subsidy on PMS meant to be financed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the year 2020.
Consequently, the arm of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has therefore secured partnership with NIPCO Gas Limited for immediate conversion of petrol-consuming vehicles to compressed natural gas-fired ones, building CNG retail outlets across the country.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting held at DPR Abeokuta Field Office, Muinat Bello-Zagi, DPR Controller, noted that the move is to drastically reduce PMS Consumption by the Nigerians with compressed natural gas (CNG) alternatives, saying a switch to CNG by motorists will be cleaner cheaper and more eco-friendly than the usage of PMS.
The DPR controller, who announced the corporate partnership between DPR and NIPCO Gas Limited on Thursday, explained that Nigeria has CNG in abundance and it will be economical for Nigeria as a country, to switch to the usage of CNG in order to reduce unnecessary pressure on Nigerian currency, adding that cheaper conversion of PMS-enabled vehicles to CNG-fired ones and location of CNG outlets across the country have started immediately.
Also, Sabir Ahmed Siddique of Natural Gas Division of NIPCO Gas Limited, logistics partners of DPR on effective utilisation of CNG, declared that market and feasibility studies undertaken by NIPCO Gas Limited and DPR, showed that the usage of CNG by Nigerian motorists is cheaper by 50% to PMS and any vehicles could be converted to gas-powered ones as no vehicle modification is required.
Siddique added that conversion of vehicles for compressed natural gas utilisation will be flexible as converted vehicles can either run on petrol or compressed natural gas after the conversion.