Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The federal government has commenced the conversion of official vehicles belonging to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) from petrol to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in designated centres in Abuja.
It said part of the move was to provide Nigerians with autogas to cushion the effects of rising petrol costs in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to adopt gas as an alternative fuel for the country.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, stated this yesterday during a visit to an autogas dispensing station and conversion inspection exercise, at the NNPC autogas dispensing facility in Jahi and Autolady Garage in Abuja, where some government official vehicles were being converted.
Sylva said the conversion underscored the seriousness of the new government initiative.
The minister expressed his satisfaction with the conversion process thus far and charged conversion centres to make vehicle and user-safety a priority during the process.
He added that his vehicles and others in the president’s fleet would soon be converted as well.
In his remarks during the inspection visit, the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr Abdulkadir Saidu, stated that the government will ensure that autogas will soon be made available all over the country.
“Nigerians can rest assured of the government’s undying commitment to providing a cheaper and cleaner alternative to petrol, as prices have been on an upward climb in recent months following the deregulation of the downstream sector.
“Aside from the fact that autogas is cheaper, we are also concerned about making the conversion of cars affordable so that Nigerians can indeed reap the advantage of this new policy,” he said.
The PPPRA boss, after the inspection, also said that some filling stations across the country were already keying into the plan by adding autogas dispensers to their stations.
He urged Nigerians to embrace gas-powered vehicles as they are cheaper and more environmentally friendly than any other fuel available on the market today.
He also noted that the majority of vehicles built in the last two decades were well suited to conversion for dual fuel applications and, therefore, safe for all Nigerians who are willing to convert their vehicles.