Uzoka-Anite: Tinubu Declined Approval for Purchase of Petrol Vehicles, Insisted on CNG-powered Automobiles

•Says $30 billion investment commitments secured

James Emejo in Abuja

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, yesterday revealed that President Bola Tinubu recently declined a request by some ministers for the purchase of petrol/diesel-powered vehicles, insisting on the patronage of Compressed Natural Gas-enabled automobiles.

The president reportedly made it clear that he would henceforth approve only CNG-powered vehicles to further solidify the federal government’s current efforts to reduce reliance on fossil cars.

Speaking at the Ministerial Sectoral Update press briefing organised by the Ministry of Information and National Orientation as part of activities to mark the first year in office of the present administration in Abuja, the minister also said over $30 billion in investment commitments had so far been secured across multiple sectors of the economy.

She said the federal government remained committed to the successful implementation of the CNG policy.

The minister said, “I remember last week’s FEC, some ministers went to the president to ask for approvals to procure vehicles. And when they got there, the president said he would not approve any vehicle except CNG vehicles; is that not walking the talk?

“And this is how we will change the narrative. When the president is the one pushing his own agenda, we have no choice but to follow suit.

“When you buy a CNG car, you have implemented the initiative of the president. We will produce that CNG car here in Nigeria and we will convert the existing internal combustion engine using petrol to CNG and they will become CNG cars.

“We will empower our manufacturers to produce CNG cars. And that’s how we will begin to change that narrative.” She further disclosed that the government will flag off the conversion and manufacturing of CNG trucks and trailers to carry goods for trade, noting that logistics and cost of transportation contributes significantly to cost of goods sold and consequently inflation.

According to her, the CNG remained four times cheaper than diesel for transportation, adding that this will drop the cost of carrying goods and see our cost of production drop significantly.

Uzoka- Anite said, “Let me emphasize here again that just powering industries from distributed power or captive power alone will reduce cost of production by 60 per cent, then reducing cost of transportation by converting trucks and trailers to CNG instead of diesel will drop that cost again by 60 per cent – the combined effect of this alone will shift our industries from loss making ventures into huge profit ventures, thereby having a multiplier effect.

“Thanks to the presidential gas initiative of Mr. President, Nigerian industries will once more become profitable and produce at cheaper costs. This will not only reduce the cost of products we buy, but will reduce food inflation significantly and make us compete favorably in our exports.

“A lot of our industries have closed down with many more on the verge of closing as a result of high cost of production chiefly energy and transportation, so now you can understand how the president, through this initiative will revamp industries and tackle a major bottleneck.”

She said the ministry’s mandate was focused on six pillars of growth, namely support and facilitation to improve ease of doing business, development of policies and reforms, increased access to financing, increased access to global markets, driving investments, and increasing job creation which all play significant role in the delivery of Tinubu’s eight-point agenda.

On trade, the minister said the ministry had re-launched the Nigerian Trade Policy 2023-2027, geared at stimulating the domestic economy by connecting Nigerian SMEs to the global value chain thereby ensuring that Nigerian businesses have the capacity to be globally competitive.

Among other things, she said Nigeria’s investment landscape was currently witnessing a significant influx of foreign capital, aligning with the Renewed Hope agenda.

She said, “Led by the commitment of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we have secured investment commitments of over $30 billion, so far across multiple sectors of the economy.”

She said the ministry was taking decisive and structured steps to attract capital investments which will transform the homegrown enterprises and industries into global players.

The minister said, “We have concluded stakeholder engagements with our domestic private equity and asset management firms towards the launch of an Investment mobilisation Initiative aimed at increasing local and foreign investment as a catalyst for economic growth.”

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