• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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CNG: Tinubu to launch 200 buses in May

CNG: Tinubu to launch 200 buses in May

…initiative attracts $50m private sector support

President Bola Tinubu is set to unveil the first set of 200 compressed natural gas CNG, propelled buses before his first year anniversary on May 29, 2024.

Bayo Onanuga, the special adviser to the president on information and strategy, disclosed this on Sunday.

The CNG initiative was designed to deliver compressed natural gas for mass transit.

In all, over 600 buses are targeted for production in the first phase planned to be accomplished this year.

Read also: NIPCO Gas partners NNPC to establish 35 CNG stations

Onanuga said all was now set for the delivery of the first set of critical assets and the launch of the CNG initiative as the administration marks its first anniversary on May 29.

This is coming after several months of detailed planning and background work, with the private sector responding with over $50 million in actual investment in refuelling stations, conversion centres, and mother stations.

The Federal Government as part of its programmes to reduce the burden of increase in pump price on the masses, provided N100 billion (part of the N500 billion palliative budget) to purchase 5500 CNG vehicles (buses and tricycles), 100 electric buses and over 20,000 CNG conversion kits, alongside spurring the development of CNG refilling stations and electric charging stations.

Onanuga said already a safety policy document on 80 standards and regulations that must be strictly adhered to by operators has been developed and approved to ensure CNG conversions are done safely and reliably.

He disclosed that from the end of May, “Nigeria will take some baby steps to join such nations that already have large fleets of CNG vehicles

“The deployment of CNG buses and tricycles and the vision to get at least one million natural gas-propelled vehicles on our roads by 2027 will mark a major energy transition in our country’s transportation industry.

The use of more expensive diesel and petrol will gradually be phased out when many vehicles, including trucks run on natural gas, which Nigeria has in abundance in at least 30 out of its 36 states.

After the removal of the fuel subsidy on May 29, 2023, President Tinubu launched the Presidential CNG Initiative in October last year to deliver cheaper, safer and more climate-friendly energy.

The committee, led by Michael Oluwagbemi, an oil and gas expert, has delivered some major reforms to enable the new CNG and electric vehicles fulfil the president’s promise.

Read also: Nigeria’s energy transition: EVs, CNG vehicles and transportation emission reduction goals

With necessary tax and duty waivers approved by President Tinubu in December 2023, the PCNGI committee is partnering with the private sector to deliver on the initiative.

He disclosed that the plants owned by JET, Mikano, Mojo, and Brilliant EV located in various parts of the country were involved in the assembly of the Semi Knocked Down (SKD) components of the CNG buses. JET, which has received the SKD parts is coupling the buses in Lagos and is working towards delivering 200 units before the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration, Onanuga said.