Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva has given up his official vehicles to be remodelled to use gas as fuel instead of petrol.
He said the move would enable him encourage Nigerians to switch to gas as alternative to petrol for their vehicles.
Sylva disclosed at the recent quarterly meeting of his ministry that he has handed over his vehicles to the relevant committee of the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) to remodel them to use gas.
He urged the various agencies of the ministry such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) amongst others to emulate his gesture and help the country quickly adopt gas as fuel for transportation.
“I am glad that we have started on a positive note with the commencement of the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Program (NGFCP), the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP), the flag off of the National Gas Transportation Code, the marginal field bid round, the flag off of the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline, and the committee on gas sector-wide review of the domestic gas pricing framework,” Sylva said at the meeting.
According to him: “These programmes and activities are geared towards achieving the mandate handed to us by Mr. President. It is therefore my earnest hope that we will carefully drive these programmes and activities to a logical conclusion.
“On this note, I hereby declare the NGEP as the flagship program of the ministry based on the outstanding work the committee is doing.
“I have surrendered my vehicles to the NGEP to convert all to dual fuel with use of either AutoLPG or AutoCNG.”
Sylva further stated that on that premise, “I now have the moral backing to direct that all CEOs and their able lieutenants do same by converting all their official vehicles to run on Autogas as a demonstration to the Nigerian people that indeed government meant it when we declare this year “The Year of Gas”.”
Responding to questions on the import of Sylva’s gesture, his Technical Adviser (TA) on Gas Business and Policy Implementation, Mr. Justice Derefaka, noted that it was encouraging for the NGEP and its works.
Derefaka who is also the Program Manager for the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP) and NGEP Autogas, stated that NGEP committee created four project units which Autogas for automobiles and other prime movers, domestic Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) expansion, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for electricity and Gas Based Industries (GBI) revitalisation to make its work scope clearer.
He said: “The committee has had extensive meetings and consultations with key stakeholders across the entire value chain with a view to identifying all the challenges and formulating the required policies and programmes that will make gas the energy source of first choice in the country.”