President Tinubu approves CNG initiative to revolutionize transportation system

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved the establishment of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (PCNGI) in furtherance of his commitment to easing the impact of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians by reducing energy costs.

A statement signed on Friday by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, indicated that the transformative initiative, which is poised to revolutionize the transportation landscape in the country targets over 11,500 new CNG-enabled vehicles and 55,000 CNG conversion kits for existing PMS-dependent vehicles.

Ngelale stated that the initiative comprised a Comprehensive Adoption Strategy to include Empowering Workshops Programme/Nationwide Network of Workshops, Local Assembly and Job Creation as key points of emphasis with an initial focus on mass transit systems as well as student hubs in order to significantly reduce transit costs for the general populace in the immediate term.

He further clarified: “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 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”, he stated.

The President’s spokesman listed the objectives of the initiative as including, the 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); and ensure the deployment of CNG buses through existing Private Mass Transit operators, including new financing programmes for operators through an innovative asset finance programme.

Others are to incentivize investors to invest in CNG processing, distribution and utilization by providing incentives for enhanced investment and partnership; and to deliver training and technology transfer to support the After-Sales Services and maintenance sub-industry to create sustainable jobs.

Ngelale stated: “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”, he added.

Making further clarification on the PCNGI during an interview with Channels Television later on Friday, the Media Adviser explained that the government was also offering zero customs duty and zero value-added taxes (VAT) on the importation of CNG conversion kits and to ensure thatlocal CNG kit assembly plants are set up in the country.

Ngelale also emphasized that implementation strategy had already begun the moment the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and the NIPCO Gas Limited sealed a deal towards setting up compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative fuel for the country.

He said: “This is not a federal or state giveaway, this is a meticulously arranged private sector partnership with the Federal Government. So, we are looking at putting together a minimum of N200 billion at the outset to be able to provide a counterpart funding mechanism for the private sector to come in with certain financing guarantees and also tax relief/incentives for those who will set up CNG-powered businesses”.

Techrectory with agency report

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