Nigeria's Tinubu Backs CNG-Fueled Vehicle Transition for 'Wider Economic Benefit'
11:35 20.08.2023 (Updated: 12:02 20.08.2023)
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is a natural gas, which is produced by means of compressor units and used as a motor fuel instead of gasoline, diesel fuel and propane. It is cheaper than conventional fuels and the greenhouse effect caused by its combustion products is less.
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has approved the setting up of a Compressed Natural Gas initiative, aiming for a smooth transition to the use of this fuel in transportation for the sake of the nation's economic growth, the presidency announced in a statement.
The project includes 11,500 new CNG vehicles and 55,000 CNG conversion kits for existing petrol vehicles.
As the presidency noted, the move will encourage domestic manufacturing, local assembly and generate a large number of jobs.
In addition, the program provides for the creation of new nationwide workshop networks and expands their capacity by supplying the necessary equipment packages and comprehensive training of newly hired personnel to facilitate the transition of transportation to CNG.
"The new nationwide network of workshops, to be established through the initiative, would ensure widespread access and demand side utilization of CNG technology and CNG-related expertise, thereby facilitating smoother transitions for vehicle owners at the wider benefit of the Nigerian economy," the presidency explained.
The focus will be on mass transit systems and student centers to significantly reduce fares for the general public in the near term, according to the office.
Furthermore, the initiative will reportedly stimulate economic growth and underscore the administration’s "commitment to fostering a cleaner environment" by reducing carbon emissions and "promoting energy security" through the utilization of domestic natural gas resources.
The Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) initiative came in response to the fallout of Tinubu's June decision to remove fuel subsidies for Nigerians. For decades, the country exchanged crude for gasoline, which it then subsidized, causing a huge drain on revenue, foreign exchange and contributing to national debt.
In July, Tinubu sought $638 million from the Namibian Parliament to mitigate the sharp increases in transportation and food prices caused by the removal of subsidies.