Private Sector Pumps $50m into Presidential CNG Initiative

April 22, 2024
presidential CNG initiative

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigeria’s private sector has injected more than $50 million in actual investments in refuelling stations, conversion centres, and mother stations in the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (PCNGI), which is set for initial rollout to the public by the end of May.

The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr Bayo Onanuga, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, saying the programme was part of the many intervention programmes to reduce the burden of an increase in pump price on the masses.

To actualise the programme, President Bola Tinubu launched the presidential CNG initiative in October 2023 to deliver cheaper, safer and more climate-friendly energy.

He added that the government had provided N100 billion (part of the N500 billion palliative budget) to purchase 5,500 CNG vehicles, 100 electric buses and more than 20,000 CNG conversion kits, alongside spurring the development of CNG refilling stations and electric charging stations.

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

“Also, 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 said.

Mr Onanuga said that the deployment of CNG buses and tricycles and the vision to get at least one million natural gas-propelled vehicles on the roads by 2027 would mark a major energy transition in the country’s transportation industry.

He said that the use of more expensive diesel and petrol would gradually be phased out, when many vehicles, including trucks, run on natural gas, adding that 30 of the 36 states had the gas in abundance.

“Remarkably, the Tinubu administration, in driving the nation to the desired destination, has flagged open a new industry, along with thousands of new jobs.

“Four plants owned by JET, Mikano, Mojo, and Brilliant EV located in various parts of the country are 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.”

Mr Onanuga said that Brilliant EV would assemble electric vehicles meant for Kano and Borno, which would not have access to CNG for now as well as in key Nigerian cities and university campuses.

“In all, over 600 buses are targeted for production in the first phase that will be accomplished this year.

“A new plant on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will assemble thousands of tricycles.

“The SKD parts, manufactured by the Chinese company LUOJIA in partnership with its local partner to support the consortium of local suppliers of CNG tricycles, are set for shipment to Nigeria and expected to arrive early in May.

“About 2,500 of the tricycles will be ready before May 29, 2024.”

He said that thousands of conversion kits for petrol-powered buses and taxis that want to migrate to CNG are also ready with CNG cylinders.

The Presidential aide added that the Federal Government intended to provide them at subsidised rates, especially to commercial vehicle drivers, to bring down the cost of public transportation.

He revealed that the PCNGI was working with 22 other agencies, including the Standards Organisation of Nigeria and Nigeria Automotive Design and Development Council, to deliver 80 Natural Gas Vehicle Conversion and Associated Appliances Standards for the country.

He added that an app MYCNG.NG to embed the Nigeria Gas Vehicle Monitoring Systems would show CNG conversion and refuelling sites in the country.

“The Tinubu administration is an enabler of the evolving CNG industry. In collaboration with the private sector, the PCNGI is set to deliver 100 conversion workshops and 60 refuelling sites spread across 18 states before the end of this year.

“The vision of Mr. President to deliver one million gas vehicles cannot be possible without the private sector, including the RTEAN, NARTO, NURTW, and players in the downstream sector of the transportation chain and financiers.”

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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