The federal government said it has concluded plans to deploy 11,500 gas powered buses across the country from next week, as part of measures to ease current transportation challenges.
The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative ( PCNGI), disclosed this while delivering two CNG buses at the State House.
Micheal Oluwagbemi, PCNGI project director, said state governments have already indicated investment interest in the CNG buses, stating that Rivers state government has already acquired some to ease the transportation challenges of the state.
Speaking on the cost of conversion, Oluwagbemi, revealed that the cost varies with the type and vehicle model, but assured that the government was working on reducing costs per vehicle
” The President has ensured that as part of PCNGI, the committee will incentivise the cost for the Nigerian populace.
The Project coordinator assured that Nigerians will be able to achieve conversion at a lower cost.
“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,” Oluwagbemi added.
He also disclosed that the federal government has 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 program.”
“In addition to this, 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.”
Chinedu Oguegbu, Managing Director of OMAA Motors, commended 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 is going to 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, Zacch Adedeji, Chairman of the Presidential CNG Initiative Steering Committee, represented by Farouk Ahmed, the Authority Chief Executive Officer of the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authourity (NMDPRA), said the handover of CNG buses to the State House, commemorate” a pivotal step in our journey towards a cleaner, more sustainable, and economically sound future.
” The buses running on compressed natural gas are not just a technical achievement, but a symbol of this administration’s commitment to spearheading an energy revolution. These CNG buses to be handed over to the State House, are the vanguard of a future where energy is cleaner and more economical.
” extend my deepest appreciation to our leader, Mr. President, His Excellency, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, for all the support he gave us to get here today. To all those who have played a part in bringing us to this juncture, I appreciate your dedication, vision, unwavering support.
“I’m pleased to announce that there are currently, seven conversion centers 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.
“To our State House staff, these buses demonstrate the commitment of Mr President to your welfare as a man of the people, our Labour unions who represent you can attest to this.
He noted that the buses are symbol of a new beginning, a journey towards the future, where the power of tomorrow starts today. Let this be a beacon for our country, Nigeria, and an inspiration to the world.
” We must remember that this is just the dawn of an extra ordinary journey, representing our commitment to an energy revolution and the future of our children.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State, in his remarks, said the event, new turn in the history of our country and as we officially begin the gradual transition from petrol powered vehicles to gas powered mass transit vehicles.
” For those of us who were in the gas industry, this is what we’ve been calling for for decades. Nigeria is a gas country, not a crude oil country. 70%, thereabout, or more of our hydrocarbon is gas.
The Governor 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.
“I remember former President Obasanjo established Olokola Free Trade Zone because he wanted that zone to be powered by gas solely. So, as we transit forward, I encourage the private sector to invest in this gas programme.
” I commend the president as well because this programme, aside from kicking off at the Government House, our universities will be the first beneficiaries of the buses and all state governments will also key into this. Also, from my state, we’re going to invest massively and encourage oyr businessmen to invest massively in this transition”
Olusegun Adebiyi, Permanent Secretary, State House, also described the flag off as the beginning of a new dawn
” For the P-CNGi, I want to assure you to prepare for us because henceforth, all our staff buses we’ll have to buy from you and I can assure you we’ll soon set out to consult you and to enter negotiations with you for not just purchase, but also maintenance”
He announced that the State House fuel dumps will be converted to CNG with immediate effect, to guarantee frequent fueling of these and I’ve discussed with you as well on the issue of maintenance.
” I want to also assure you that we will enter into agreement with you because one, this is new in Nigeria, the spares are not readily available, why not meet the manufacturers. The fact that these buses were assembled in Nigeria, it’s all Nigeria-made, is one thing that I will not forget in a hurry because as an engineer, I’ve been praying for this to happen and now it’s happening in my own lifetime.
“The provision of this bus will enhance the efficiency of our staff, will enhance their punctuality to work and will also enhance speedy delivery of service in the entire State House. Staff listen to me, you know that I don’t come late, so now you don’t have reasons to come late, since buses are available to take you to work”