530 CNG Buses Set for Deployment Across Lagos, Oyo, Kwara, FCT, and More

The widespread deployment of CNG automobiles has begun.
Not fewer than 530 buses are to be deployed by the end of the month in six pioneering states.

Oyo, Lagos, Kwara, Kogi, Kaduna, Nasarawa, and Abuja (FCT).

Programme Director of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (PCNGI) Michael Oluwagbemi revealed this yesterday.

The occasion kicked off 15 days of preparations for the deployment.

He added the distribution is on a demand-led basis. He emphasized that nationwide diesel and petrol-fuel engine conversion will be hastened.

According to Oluwagbemi, President Tinubu has ordered the PCNGI to convert at least 10% of cars in the first year of the project.

The plan started yesterday in the Southwest with the Presidential (virtual) commissioning of the important gas supply installations.

Today, the team will investigate the Jets and Mikano Factory together with officials of the Ministry of Labour and workers unions.

Southsouth and Southeast stakeholders interaction will be conducted tomorrow in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Affiliate conversion and refueling at the Femadec Site as well as an inspection trip of the Total Energies support station are scheduled.

Another six-day inspection trip of the Kojo Factory at the Enugu-Onitsha Site will commence on May 24 to receive the first set of assembled tricycles, buses, cylinders and kits ahead of the formal launch.

The Luojia Assembly Plant for CNG tricycles on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will be launched on May 30.

“These programmes are a fulfilment of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s promise to drive Nigeria’s energy transition in the transportation sector leveraging CNG and enabling economic growth,” Oluwagbemi stated.

He emphasized the President’s political resolve to secure the maximum utilization of natural gas which earlier was being flared.

Oluwagbemi, who stated gas is available in commercial amount in 30 of the 36 states of the federation, said that despite CNG penetration (via filling stations) until last year had been fewer than 20, this has climbed to 50 this month.

He claimed roughly 100 are ready to be deployed by June while applications for another 150 are pending authorization.

Addressing transport sector stakeholders from Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states, Oluwagbemi said to increase CNG penetration, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulation Authority (NMDPRA) has mandated all filling stations in Nigeria to install gas pump points in their stations.

“Going forward, it would be illegal to operate a filling station in Nigeria without a gas filling point within your premises and this will further boost accessibility to the commodity by end users,” Oluwagbemi said.

Oluwagbemi distinguished CNG from liquefied gas, emphasizing its natural origin and non-combustible properties due to rapid atmospheric dissipation.

He praised NIPCO Gas Ltd and Bovas Gas Ltd for their pivotal role in CNG promotion. The program aims to enhance local technicians’ skills in the CNG sector.

Minister Nkeiruka Onyejeocha urged nationwide support for the transition from fossil fuels to CNG during her address at Ikeja’s Event Centre. She highlighted the ministry’s efforts to mobilize workers towards embracing this initiative.

She said: “Though several administrations paid lip service to the transition from fossil to CNG, President Bola Tinubu has shown unwavering commitment to the paradigm shift in energy transition from an unpredictable energy to a more sustainable and inclusive energy.

“The President’s dream is working already and it will come to fruition and the Ministry of Labour and Employment is committed to ensuring that the policy creates jobs for Nigerians.”

Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, expressed optimism about Nigeria’s energy transition, likening it to a significant revolution in the energy sector.

He highlighted the abundance of CNG in Nigeria, emphasizing its cleanliness, economic viability, and potential to reduce food-related inflation.

Prof. Daud Sangodoyin, Oyo State Commissioner for Works, noted the recent deployment of CNG buses in the state’s pilot phase, which will soon expand across all regions.

Dr. Kayode Opeifa, Executive Director of the Centre for Mobility and Access Development, highlighted CNG’s potential to stimulate the economy and break the dominance of fossil fuels.

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