GAS:OBJ throws weight behind CNG,LPG utilization in Nigeria
IN a bid to embraced utilization of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the country, the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has urged the Federal Government to promote CNG and LPG in order to save money for the country.
Obasanjo gave the advise during a courtesy visit by the management of NIPCO Plc to Obasanjo Hiltop Estate in Abeokuta to show case some vehicles running on CNG and LPG and the needs for government to promote use of CNG as vehicular fuel.
According to Obasanjo , In a bid to promote cleaner environment, the idea why use of CNG was signed during my tenure as the president in 2006 was to develop gas as vehicular source of fuel.
“If other government had promoted the use of LPG and CNG in Nigeria half of the country’s vehicles would have been converted to gas.
“The essence was to provide alternative to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol at a reduced cost and to boost national socio-economic growth.
Obasanjo said that aside the economic gains, CNG targeted reduction of unfriendly automobile emissions and exposure of Nigerians to the innovation of powering vehicles on gas.
The Managing Director, NIPCO Plc, Mr Venkataraman Venkatapathy said that Nigeria would have saved government over two billion dollars yearly if the use of CNG was promoted in Nigeria.
Venkatapathy, said that globally, the natural gas industry was increasing its focus and effort to support natural gas transport.
He said that the CNG project was between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and NIPCO through a joint-venture scheme called Green Gas Limited.
He explained that the GGL initiative, which is the first of its kind in West Africa, is ushering in a new era of vehicles running on the CNG in Nigeria with its attendant benefits
He said that CNG is a superior auto fuel alternation to liquid fuels mainly petrol and Diesel specially for countries like Nigeria which is blessed with abundant availability of natural gas which remains untapped.
According to him, to replace 20 per cent of current petrol, consumption of Nigeria, Natural gas required is less than five per cent of the total domestic gas consumed currently and less that one of the current gas production.
“This will save the country over two billion dollar yearly on foreign exchange.
“In Benin City, Edo State over 4000 vehicles run on CNG which resulted in replacing 20 million litres of petrol from 2012 to 2015, which also saved over nine million dollars to the country,’’ he said.
The MD said that CNG has more benefits than petrol, adding some of the benefit includes, low operating cost, lower maintenance cost and it reduced harmful vehicle emissions that cause local air pollution.
He said that on mile to mile basis, CNG will be cheaper than petrol by pover 50 per cent and as compaerted to Diesel (on dual fuel mode) it will be over 45 per cent.
Meanwhile, some motorists plying Lagos/Ibadan expressway described CNG powered vehicles as economical, safer, flexible and eco-friendly.
Mr Kazeem Odunayo, a commercial motor driver, said that the conversion of his vehicle to CNG early 2015 had saved him money.
“I converted my bus to gas early this year and I am happy to tell you that I saved up to N 3, 500 daily on my fuel consumption.
“Before now I spent N6, 000 to travel to Ibadan from Lagos but now with just N2, 500, I will travel to Ibadan and come back with ease.”
Mr Sunday Adeyemi, another commercial vehicle driver, said that most of the commercial vehicles operating between Lagos and Ibadan had converted to CNG because of its availability and the economy of scale.
“Most of us here have converted our motors to CNG because of the installment payment created by the company.
“They are aware that we cannot run away once you got converted.
“What we would have used on petroleum is being used to balance our debt; by next month, I would have completed my debt.”
Adeyemi said that he used the availability of CNG in his vehicles during the petrol scarcity to make more money.
“When others did not get petroleum for transportation during the fuel scarcity, I was busy making money because gas was available and cheap,’’ he said.