BY FESTUS OKOROMADU
President Bola Tinubu has approved the establishment of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative to ease the impact of fuel subsidy removal.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, said the move is aimed at reducing the cost of energy in the country.
Ngelale who described the project as a “transformative initiative,” noted that it is poised to revolutionize the transportation landscape in the country, targeting over 11,500 new CNG-enabled vehicles and 55,000 CNG conversion kits for existing PMS-dependent vehicles, while simultaneously bolstering in-country manufacturing, local assembly and expansive job creation in line with the presidential directive.
He stated that the initiative, which comprises of a Comprehensive Adoption Strategy, will include the following: Empowering Workshops Programme/Nationwide Network of Workshops, Local Assembly and Job Creation as key points of emphasis with an initial focus on mass transit systems and student hubs in order to significantly reduce transit costs for the general populace in the immediate term.
“Furthermore, in line with the PCNGI’s determination to ensure a seamless integration of CNG utility within the current midstream and downstream energy value chain to support its sustainability, the PCNGI will facilitate the provision of workshops across all geopolitical zones and states with essential kits and comprehensive training for newly employed staff, thus creating new opportunities for technical skill development and employment for Nigerians.
“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 statement noted.
It also disclosed that under the aegis of the PCNGI, the strategic objectives that will be achieved include the development of new stakeholder-operated Intrastate Mass Transit systems built on CNG, support for states to onboard new CNG buses as part of their Intrastate Mass Transit network (wholesale conversion, retro-fitting and new purchase).
Others are the deployment of CNG buses through existing Private Mass Transit operators, including new financing programmes for operators through an innovative asset finance programme; incentivize investors to invest in CNG processing; distribution and utilization by providing incentives for enhanced investment and partnership and deliver training and technology transfer to support the After-Sales Services and maintenance sub-industry to create sustainable jobs.
Ngelale also said that President Tinubu’s focus on assembling CNG-enabled vehicles within the country will stimulate economic growth, create employment opportunities, and bolster the nation’s automotive manufacturing capabilities.
The launch of this initiative, he added, also underscores this administration’s commitment to fostering a cleaner environment by reducing carbon emissions and promoting energy security through the utilization of domestic natural gas resources.