Toyin Subaru, the Special Assistant to the President on Special Duties and Domestic Affairs, has guaranteed Nigerians that the forthcoming introduction of Compressed Natural Gas buses will lead to a decrease in CNG cost to ₦230 per kg.
These efforts align with the government’s plans to introduce 11,500 gas-powered buses nationwide, commencing from the upcoming week, as a response to the prevailing transportation difficulties.
Subaru highlighted that the project is poised to assist Nigerians in reducing transportation costs by a substantial margin, up to two-thirds, and advocating for the adoption of CNG as a viable alternative to petrol.
The presidential aide shared this information during a meeting with stakeholders at the Bank of Industry headquarters in Abuja, which took place on Sunday.
It has been reported that the purpose of the meeting was to establish a formal partnership with the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, FEMADEC group, and various other entities, with the aim of enhancing sustainable transportation in Nigeria.
He said, ‘Now, with this CNG plan, we don’t even have to import what we need to operate our vehicles. It is called CNG and we have the gas here in Nigeria. So, the idea is just to take the gas to distribute it across Nigeria via different truck stations.’
‘Most gas is not CNG enabled yet and what we are doing is to help them convert their cars so you can use petrol and CNG at the same time.’
‘We are going to develop an app that will enable you locate where a CNG station is located. We should be able to buy gas for our cars at ₦230 per KG as against the cost of petrol which is ₦680 per litre. This should help every Nigerian save about two-thirds of their transport cost.’
Additionally, he stated that the Federal Government aims to have one million CNG vehicles operating on Nigerian roads by 2027.
Micheal Oluwagbemi, the Programme Director of the Presidential CNG Initiative, stated that the government aims to establish 1000 conversion workshops across the nation, with the initiative expected to create over 50,000 jobs and soften the blow of subsidy removal.
Oluwagbemi said, ‘Our goal in the presidential CNG initiative, as stated by the President in his October 1st speech is to make 55,000 conversion kits immediately available to the Nigerian public so that we can begin to jumpstart the CNG revolution.’
‘The palliative programme as described by the president will last until March 31, 2024. So, technically speaking, we are expected to roll out 55,000 within that time frame.’
‘Given of course naturally, we are quite a bit constrained when it comes to the number of workshops and there’s a reason why we’re here today. We only have seven functional workshops in the country. In our estimate, we need about 1000 to be able to achieve our goal.’
He added that with an ongoing partnership with relevant stakeholders, 55,000 CNG conversion kits for existing PMS-dependent vehicles will be launched within the time frame specified by the President.
He stated, ‘Today, we’re rolling out our initial partnership because there’ll be more partners, and there’ll be more investors in the sub-sector with four, one of them being a national Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology to roll out an additional seven workshops in the next 14 days.’
‘We believe they can do more but what we will have to do is to double what they have in 14 days and from there we can start doubling after 14 days, in that way we can be able to get closer to our goal of having workshops everywhere there is CNG in Nigeria so that we can convert those 55, 000 vehicles.’
‘We have a goal, one million vehicles by the year 2027, and that allows Nigeria to save about $20bn in ten years and also allows us to manage transport inflation.’
‘You will have five people working there in two days. So, if we have 1,000 workshops, we are talking about 5,000 jobs for technicians, including the cost of the labor and manpower that will go into the increased supply of CNG, processing stations, model stations, and refueling stations that will not run on this ecosystem.’
‘So, the number of jobs that will be rolling out under this program, even under the pilot phase in six months, easily with support of about 50,000 jobs, 50,000 jobs that never existed before that will be supported by this program.’