Federal Government has flagged off the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (PCNGI), with the unveiling seven conversion centres across Nigeria.
The flag-off of the initiative was done by the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajibiamila.
In a symbolic handover of the CNG buses to the State House, the Chairman of the Presidential CNG Initiative Steering Committee, Zacch Adedeji announced that the government has waived the Value Added Tax on the CNG buses purchase as well as seeking duty waivers for value-chain.
The goal is to build a sustainable future, leveraging Nigeria’s available cheap and clean energy source, which is gas, Adedeji stated.
The Committee Chairman also said that plans were underway for the government to establish multiple conversion centres across the Country in the next two weeks.
“Moreover, it is my pleasure as your Chief Tax Officer, a position I hold alongside as Chairman of this initiative, to announce that we will be waiving the Value Added Tax on CNG purchases as well as seeking duty waivers for value-chain. The goal is to build a sustainable future, leveraging our own cheap and clean energy source gas,” he said.
Adedeji further disclosed that the project is currently about the conversion of vehicles, while it also generates employment opportunities.
He emphasised that the delivery of the CNG project demonstrates President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to both environmental sustainability and economic growth in Nigeria.
Adedeji was represented by the Chief Executive Officer of the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) Mr Farouk Ahmed implored Nigerians to consider the buses as a symbol of a new beginning, “a journey towards the future, where the power of tomorrow starts today. Let this be a beacon for our country, Nigeria, and an inspiration to the world.
Project Director of the Presidential CNG Initiative, Micheal Oluwagbemi disclosed that State governments have already indicated investment interest in the CNG Buses.
He said that the Rivers State Government has already acquired a good number to ease the transportation challenges of the state.
Speaking on the Cost of Conversion, Oluwagbemi said that the current cost of conversion varies from the model and type of vehicle, stressing that the President has ensured that as part of PCNGI, the committee will incentivize the cost for the Nigerian populace.
The Project Coordinator promised that Nigerians would be able to achieve conversion at a lower cost.
“Nigeria is a gas country with a very small quantity of crude oil, The President wants to make sure that the Nigerian public is not subjected to the price of transportation occasioned by international conflagration rather than being able to use the gas that Nigeria produces by Nigerian people such that jobs are also created at home instead of exported abroad.
“The current cost of conversion varies from the model and type of vehicle but the President has ensured that as part of PCNGI, we will look into that cost by helping and incentivizing Nigerians,” Oluwagbemi explained.
He disclosed that immediately, the Nigerian government ordered 55000 conversion kits as part of the immediate palliative for various stakeholders such as the labour unions, and mass transit bus operators. Either state or private will be able to benefit from those conversion kits.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said Nigeria is the eighth-largest gas-producing nation in the world and with 70%, of its hydrocarbon gas possession will strengthen the nation’s gradual transition from petrol-powered vehicles to gas–powered transit vehicles.
Governor Abdulrazaq called on the private sector to invest in the CNG Bus programme, emphasizing that Universities in Nigeria will be the first beneficiaries of the buses and all state governments will also key into the programme.
He said; “This is the first major change to come. We all know that apart from having abundant gas resources, I think number eight in the world in gas reserves, gas is a cheaper means of transportation and cheaper means of energy.”
“I remember former President Obasanjo established the Olokola Free Trade Zone because he wanted that zone to be powered by gas solely. So, as we transit forward, I encourage the private sector to invest in this gas programme. I commend the president as well because this programme, aside from kicking off at the Government House, our universities will be the first beneficiaries of the buses and all state governments will also key into this.
“Also, from my state, we’re going to invest massively and encourage our businessmen to invest massively in this transition. I can only praise Mr President that our dreams are being fulfilled step by step.” the Chairman NGF added.
Receiving the CNG Buses on behalf of the State House, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Olusesan Adebiyi said that the provision of the buses will enhance the efficiency of staff and enhance their punctuality at work
Adebiyi promised that the P-CNGI and partners that all operational buses of the State House would be converted to gas-powered vehicles.