By Egena Sunday Ode
President Bola Tinubu has approved the establishment of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (PCNGI).
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, in a statement on Friday, said the presidential approval is in furtherance of Tinubu’s commitment to easing the impact of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians by reducing energy costs.
This transformative initiative is poised to revolutionize the transportation landscape in the country, targeting over 11,500 new CNG-enabled vehicles and 55,000 CNG conversion kits for existing PMS-dependent vehicles, while simultaneously bolstering in-country manufacturing, local assembly and expansive job creation in line with the presidential directive, the statement said.
The landmark initiative, which comprises a Comprehensive Adoption Strategy, will include the following: Empowering Workshops Programme w/ Nationwide Network of Workshops, Local Assembly and Job Creation as key points of emphasis with an initial focus on mass transit systems and student hubs in order to significantly reduce transit costs for the general populace in the immediate term, according to the statement.
Furthermore, in line with the PCNGI’s determination to ensure a seamless integration of CNG utility within the current midstream and downstream energy value chain to support its sustainability, the PCNGI will facilitate the provision of workshops across all geopolitical zones and states with essential kits and comprehensive training for newly employed staff, thus creating new opportunities for technical skill development and employment for Nigerians, the statement noted.
It added that the new nationwide network of workshops, to be established through the initiative, would ensure widespread access and demand side utilization of CNG technology and CNG-related expertise, thereby facilitating smoother transitions for vehicle owners at the wider benefit of the Nigerian economy.
“Under the aegis of the PCNGI, the following strategic objectives will be achieved:
“Development of new stakeholder-operated Intrastate Mass Transit systems built on CNG.
“Support for states to onboard new CNG buses as part of their Intrastate Mass Transit network (wholesale conversion, retro-fitting and new purchase).
“The deployment of CNG buses through existing Private Mass Transit operators, including new financing programmes for operators through an innovative asset finance programme.
“Incentivize investors to invest in CNG processing, distribution and utilization by providing incentives for enhanced investment and partnership.
“Deliver training and technology transfer to support the After-Sales Services and maintenance sub-industry to create sustainable jobs,” the statement said.
It also noted that President Tinubu’s focus on assembling CNG-enabled vehicles within the country will stimulate economic growth, create employment opportunities, and bolster the nation’s automotive manufacturing capabilities.
“The launch of this initiative also underscores this administration’s commitment to fostering a cleaner environment by reducing carbon emissions and promoting energy security through the utilization of domestic natural gas resources”, Ajuri noted.