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FG to roll out presidential CNG initiative

April 21 (THEWILL) – The Federal Government plans to launch about 2,700 CNG-powered buses and three-wheelers before May 29, when President Bola Tinubu completes one year in power, the presidency announced on Sunday.

Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, who disclosed this in a statement, said the Federal Government will deliver 100 conversion workshops and 60 fuel stations in 18 states by the end of 2024.

The presidential CNG initiative was launched last October following the end of fuel subsidies on May 29, 2023.

TargetingTo deliver cheaper, safer and more climate-friendly energy to Nigerians, the statement noted that the committee in charge of the initiative, led by Michael Oluwagbemi, an oil and gas expert, has implemented a number of key fundamental reforms to CNG and electric vehicles make the future possible, the president promised.

Titled: “Presidential CNG initiative ready for rollout,” the statement read: “Following the abolition of the wasteful fuel subsidy on May 29, 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu launched the Presidential CNG Initiative in October last year to deliver cheaper, safer and more climate-friendly energy. The CNG Initiative is designed to provide compressed natural gas specifically for public transportation.

“The Federal Government, as part of the many intervention programs to reduce the burden of pump price hike on the masses, has made available N100 billion (part of the N500 billion palliative budget) for the purchase of 5,500 CNG vehicles (buses and tricycles), 100 electric buses. and more than 20,000 CNG conversion kits, in addition to encouraging the development of CNG refueling stations and electric charging stations.

“After months of detailed planning and background work, the committee leading the initiative will deliver on President Tinubu’s vision and promise.

“The committee, led by Michael Oluwagbemi, an oil and gas expert, has already implemented some important fundamental reforms to enable the new future of CNG and electric vehicles that the President promised. All is now set for the delivery of the first batch of critical assets for the deployment and launch of the CNG initiative, ahead of the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration on May 29.

“With the necessary tax and excise exemptions approved by President Tinubu in December 2023, the PCNGI Committee is working with the private sector to deliver on the promise of the initiative. The private sector has responded with more than $50 million in actual investments in fuel stations, conversion centers and mother stations.

“A safety policy document has also been developed and approved on 80 standards and regulations that must be strictly adhered to by operators to ensure that CNG conversions are carried out safely and reliably.

“The deployment of CNG buses and three-wheelers and the vision to have at least one million natural gas vehicles on our roads by 2027 will mark a major energy transition in our country’s transportation sector. The use of more expensive diesel and PMS will be phased out gradually, when many vehicles, including trucks, will run on natural gas, which our nation has in abundance in at least 30 of the 36 states of the federation.

“As studies have shown, one of the main causes of air pollution is mainly the amount of gases emitted by petrol and diesel engines. To reduce pollution, some countries of the world such as India, China, Iran, Pakistan, Brazil, Argentina and Italy have built a fleet of natural gas powered vehicles, instead of relying on vehicles fueled by liquid petroleum products powered. Natural gas vehicles reduce tailpipe emissions by up to 40 percent, and Nigeria’s commitment to this path will enable her to meet her Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs) under the Paris Climate Agreement, which we are signatories to.

“From the end of May, Nigeria will take some small steps to join countries that already have large fleets of CNG vehicles.

“Remarkably, by taking the country to its desired destination, the Tinubu government has opened up a new industry along with thousands of new jobs.

“Four factories of JET, Mikano, Mojo and Brilliant EV, spread across different parts of the country, are involved in the assembly of the Semi Knocked Down (SKD) components of the CNG buses. JET, which received the SKD parts, is linking the buses in Lagos and is working to deliver 200 units before the first anniversary of Tinubu’s administration.

“Brilliant EV will assemble electric vehicles. We have to wait for the SKD parts, which will arrive in due course. The electric vehicles it will produce are intended for states such as Kano and Borno, which do not have access to CNG for the time being. They will also be available in key Nigerian cities and university campuses. It should be noted that the soon to be completed gas pipeline projects initiated by the Buhari administration and completed by NNPCL (the AKK Pipeline) will bring gas to the hinterland of North East and North West where it is currently in short supply.

“A total of more than 600 buses are planned for production in the first phase that will be completed this year.

“A new factory on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will assemble thousands of three-wheelers. The SKD parts manufactured by Chinese company LUOJIA in collaboration with its local partner to support the consortium of local CNG three-wheeler suppliers are ready for shipment to Nigeria and are expected to arrive in early May. About 2,500 of the three-wheelers will be ready before May 29, 2024.

“Thousands of conversion kits for petrol buses and taxis that want to migrate to CNG are also ready with CNG cylinders. The federal government plans to offer these at subsidized rates, especially to commercial vehicle drivers, to reduce the cost of public transportation.

“As part of the private sector collaboration, NIPCO and BOVAS are involved in providing refueling services for the CNG vehicles and also serve as conversion centres. NIPCO is setting up 32 stations nationwide to offer the services. The company has completed installation of four of the CNG stations. Similarly, BOVAS is setting up eight stations in Ibadan, two each in Ekiti, Abuja and four in Ilorin. MRS is also involved. The company is making efforts to announce where its gas stations and conversion centers will be.

“The NNPC Limited, which had launched an on-and-off CNG initiative in the past, is joining the new initiative. The locations of CNG refilling and CNG conversion centers across the country are expected to be announced soon.

“In addition, the PCNGI is working with 22 other agencies including the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and the Nigeria Automotive Design and Development Council to deliver 80 standards for the conversion of natural gas vehicles and associated equipment for the country.

“For proper monitoring, PCNGI will also launch the MYCNG.NG app. The app will embed the Nigeria Gas Vehicle Monitoring Systems, which will show CNG conversion and refueling locations in the country.

“The Tinubu government is a driving force behind the evolving CNG industry. Working with the private sector, PCNGI will deliver 100 conversion workshops and 60 fuel stations across 18 states before the end of this year.

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