By Deji Elumoye
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the plan by the federal government to convert cars of Nigerians to run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) will start with commercial vehicles.
He said the plan was already being experimented in Edo State where he said Dangote firm has converted 4,000 trucks to run on gas.
According to a statement issued yesterday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, the Vice-President disclosed this during an interview with State House correspondents on Sunday.
The statement was titled “President understands pains of Nigerians, working out further palliatives -VP Osinbajo.”
Osinbajo was quoted as describing the plan as one of the strategies the federal government is adopting to make energy cheaper for Nigerians to carry out their daily activities.
He said: “One of the ways is by using Compressed Natural Gas. Government has committed to do the conversion. First of all, we are starting with commercial vehicles.
“Most commercial transporters will have the capacity to use both gas and petrol. That is already being done experimentally in Edo State.
“Dangote, for instance, has converted all his trucks to the use of CNG, and that is 4,000 or even more of those trucks. It is not a particularly difficult thing to do for the commercial transporters, it may be expensive for the individual but that is also part of the commitment of government, to be able to do the conversion, and the price of gas comes at about almost half the price of petrol.”
The Vice President said the government is also currently involved in other ways to reduce the burden on Nigerians, saying nobody expected a downturn in the economic fortunes of the country occasioned by the fallouts of COVID-19 pandemic.
He added, “We had 12 consecutive quarters of growth before the pandemic, we were all expecting that 2020 will be the best year, since the beginning of the administration, but here we are, faced with challenges, global challenges, we also have our own peculiar problems.
“But the important thing is that the President and the government are committed completely in ensuring that Nigerians do not suffer needlessly and in whatever way it is possible, we will reduce the burden on Nigerians.
“President Muhammadu Buhari understands the pains and burdens Nigerians are going through because of the economic aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic and that is why the federal government is considering palliatives that can offer succour to the people.
According to Osinbajo, “we fully understand that we must have a way of ensuring that the pain that people feel, the economic difficulty that people are going through, that we are able to address those as much as possible.
“Which is why even in our current discussions with Labour, one of the issues we are looking at include, what sort of palliatives are possible for the Nigerian people. In what ways can we reduce the burden and how quickly can we do so.”
He added, “We fully understand that we must have a way of ensuring that the pain that people feel, the economic difficulty that people are going through, that we are able to address those as much as possible.
“This is why, even in our current discussions with Labour, one of the issues we are looking at include, what sort of palliatives are possible for the Nigerian people. In what ways can we reduce the burden and how quickly can we do so?”