Many Nigerians have reacted with anticipation of the recent announcement by the Nigerian-owned Petroleum Company Limited NNPCL that it would begin plans to partner with NIPCO Gas Limited and other private partners to deploy Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations across the country, as part of efforts to mitigate the impact of the fuel price increase.
Last month, News.ng reported how petroleum marketers adjusted fuel prices across several fuel stations in Lagos and the federal capital territory FCT, Abuja.
According to our survey, Petrol began to sell for N617 per litre in Abuja and N568 in Lagos, the nation’s commercial nerve.
The change came months after the president, Bola Tinubu in his inaugural address on May 29, removed the fuel subsidy from about N200 to over N500 at over 200 per cent difference.
This led to criticism by many Nigerians who said the impact on the hike of petrol price as a result of the subsidy removal has caused them untold hardship.
In an attempt to address the issues, President Tinubu in his public broadcast address on Tuesday announced that his administration would invest a total of N100 billion between now and March 2024 to acquire 3,000 units of 20-seater buses powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).
Meanwhile, in response to the president’s directive, the NNPCL, in a statement issued by the NNPCL Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Garba Muhammad on Thursday, said it will collaborate with NIPO Energy under the NNPC-NIPCO strategic partnership.
It said approximately 35 state-of-the-art CNG stations, including three Mother stations, will be built nationwide.
It also stated that it will allow for greener energy to be used as an alternative fuel for buses, vehicles, and tricycles, also known as Keke NAPEP.
According to NNPCL, these initiatives would drastically lower transport costs while also fostering long-term national economic growth.
Speaking on the 35 state-of-the-art CNG stations, NNPCL emphasized that once fully in operation, the station would likely serve over 200,000 vehicles daily.
“The project will be rolled out in phases. The first phase, comprising 21 CNG stations, will support intra-city transportation and be ready by the first quarter of 2024; While the second phase, comprising 35 CNG stations, will support inter-city transformation and will be ready by late 2024. This will be further complemented by an additional 56 stations to be deployed by NNPC Retail across the country,
“NIPCO Gas Limited is currently operating 14 CNG stations across Nigeria and has converted over 7,000 vehicles to run on CNG. NIPCO’s technical competency and field experience will bolster this initiative’s success and amplify its positive impact on the Nation’s economy.” NNPCL said.
To increase the adoption and accessibility of CNG, NNPC also requested additional private sector involvement from oil marketing firms.
The business reaffirmed its dedication to delivering electricity with stability and to working with partners to consistently add value for Nigeria’s flourishing future.
The Nigeria Independent Marketers Association (IPMAN) said that they were in the greatest position to hasten the transition to CNG.
Mele Kyari, the group executive officer of NNPCL said on X (formally known as Twitter), “NNPC and NIPCO Gas will accelerate the CNG penetration agenda of Mr President and provide the cheaper and cleaner auto fuel.
Also, @UkaegbuOnwuka said, “Great initiative! Isn’t it possible to accelerate the first deployment to 4th quarter of 2023 by going for functional solutions instead of “state or the art” which is often gold plated, takes more time, and fraught with premium?