Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari will on Tuesday (tomorrow) officially roll out the much-awaited National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) in Abuja, which is expected to gradually replace or complement the use of petrol by Nigerians.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the event would also herald the formal dispensing of autogas, mainly Compressed Natural Gas(CNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) products at two retail filling stations belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
A statement by the Special Adviser on Media to the minister, Mr. Garba Muhammad, in Abuja yesterday emphasised that the federal government’s autogas programme will deliver at least one million vehicle conversions by the end of 2021 and herald the clean energy transition for Nigeria as well as the delivery of cheap transportation fuel.
It stated that the programme was the culmination of the resolve of the Buhari-led government to deepen domestic usage of natural gas in its various forms.
“It is also in line with the government’s plan to make gas the first choice source of cheaper and cleaner energy for Nigerians in their personal and industrial endeavours,” Sylva said.
At the event, the release noted, Sylva will also on behalf of the federal government handover CNG-powered mass transport buses to Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
He added that the handing over was part of the agreement reached with labour during negotiations and in recognition of the role organised labour plays in the quest to bring relief to ordinary Nigerians.
Sylva had argued that to give deregulation a human face, the government was introducing an alternative fuel which will mean that Nigerians will convert their cars to the dual capability of both fuel and gas.
“So, if you look at the price of petrol versus the price of gas and you think that gas is cheaper which of course, it is going to be cheaper. Gas will even be cheaper than petrol as it is today. So you see that we are also giving an alternative to ordinary Nigerians,’’ he had said.
Also, recently, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), said it instructed about 9,000 filling stations across the country to start the installation of facilities for gas products as an alternative to fuel for Nigerians.
Apparently, the government’s new policy was prompted by the rising international crude oil prices which have led to a steady rise in the pump price of petroleum in the country for several months.