President Tinubu to roll out CNG Buses, others

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

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The Presidency says all is now set for the roll out of 5500 CNG vehicles (buses and tricycles), as well as 20,000  CNG conversion kits, all in the first set of critical assets for the launch of the Compressed Natural Gas initiative of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu , ahead of his one year anniversary on May 29th.

The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr Bayo Onanuga,made this known on Sunday in a statement made available to State House Correspondents.

Specifically, Mr Onanuga said that in all, over 600 buses are targeted for production in the first phase that will be accomplished this year.

The Presidential aide also made known that the Committee is equally ready to spur the development of CNG refilling stations and electric charging stations across the country.

The Special Adviser to the President added that already, the committee, being led by Michael Oluwagbemi, an oil and gas expert, has delivered some major foundational reforms to enable the new CNG and Electric Vehicles deliver on the President’s promise.

” All is  now ready for delivery of the first set of critical assets for deployment and launch of the CNG initiative ahead of the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration on May 29.”

He further explained that with the necessary tax and duty waivers approved by President Tinubu in December 2023, the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative committee PCNGI,  is partnering with the private sector to deliver the promise on the initiative.

He disclosed that the private sector  has responded with over $50 million in actual investments in refuelling stations, conversion centres, and mother stations.

According to Mr Onanuga, a safety policy document on 80 standards and regulations that must be adhered to by operators has been  developed and approved to ensure CNG conversions are done safely and reliably.

“The deployment of CNG buses and tricycles and the vision to get at least one million natural gas propelled vehicles on our roads by 2027 will mark a major energy transition in our country’s transportation industry. The use of more expensive diesel and PMS will gradually be phased out, when many vehicles, including trucks run on natural gas, which our nation has in abundance in at least 30 out of the 36 states of the federation”.

Onanuga assured Nigerians that by 2024 May ending, Nigeria will take certain steps that to join India, China, Iran, Pakistan, Brazil , Argentina, Italy and other countries that have built fleets of natural gas powered vehicles.

“As studies have shown, one of the main causes of air pollution is primarily the amount of gases emitted by gasoline and diesel engines. To reduce the pollution, some countries of the world, such as India, China, Iran, Pakistan, Brazil , Argentina, Italy have built fleets of natural gas powered vehicles, instead of going the route of relying on liquid petroleum products propelled vehicles. Natural gas vehicles reduce tail pipe emission by up to 40 percent, and Nigeria’s commitment to this course will enable her meet her nationally determined commitments (NDCs) under Paris Climate Accord to which we are signatory”. 

CNG Semi Knocked Down (SKD) components 

Onanuga stated that the plants owned and managed by private sector partners such as JET, Mikano, Mojo, and Brilliant EV located in various parts of the country are involved in the assembly of the Semi Knocked Down (SKD) components of the CNG buses.

He disclosed that JET company, which has received the SKD parts is coupling the buses in Lagos and is working towards delivering 200 units before the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration.

The Special Adviser noted that Brilliant EV will assemble electric vehicles. It is awaiting the SKD parts, which will arrive in due course. The electric vehicles it will produce are meant for states such as Kano and Borno, which do not have access to CNG for now. They will also be available in key Nigerian cities and university campuses

The Presidential aide added that Brilliant EV company which is expected to assemble electric vehicles for states such as Kano and Borno, States that do not have access to CNG for now.

“They will also be available in key Nigerian cities and university campuses”.

Onanuga noted that thousands of conversion kits for petrol powered buses and taxis that intends to migrate to CNG are also ready with CNG cylinders.

He added that the Federal Government will provide them at subsidized rates, especially to commercial vehicle drivers to bring down the cost of public transportation.

“As part of private sector collaboration, NIPCO and BOVAS are involved in offering refilling services for the CNG vehicles  and also serving as conversion centres. NIPCO is setting up 32 stations nationwide to offer the services. The company has completed the set up of four of the CNG stations. Likewise, BOVAS is setting up eight stations in Ibadan, two each in Ekiti, Abuja and four in Ilorin. MRS is also involved. It is making efforts to announce where its refilling stations and conversion centres will be 

” New plant on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will assemble thousands of tricycles. The SKD parts manufactured by the Chinese company LUOJIA in partnership with its local partner to support the consortium of local suppliers of CNG tricycles are set for shipment to Nigeria and expected to arrive early in May. About 2,500 of the tricycles will be ready before May 29, 2024.”Mr Onanuga added.

It would be recalled that  President Bola Ahmed Tinubu launched the Presidential CNG Initiative in October last year to deliver cheaper, safer and more climate friendly energy.

The CNG Initiative was designed to deliver compressed natural gas especially for mass transit.

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