The federal government has said Nigerians wishing to convert their vehicles to dual fuel system can do so free of charge.
This is even as it urges Nigerians to adopt the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in place of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in place of diesel, maintaining that it is cheaper, eco-friendly and geared towards optimum utilisation of gas.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva while unveiling LPG powered vehicles in Abuja on Tuesday said attention has been paid towards supply chain of gas, encouraging Nigerians to advance the demand and utilisation for their benefit.
While calling on Nigerians to access the conversion centres in their locality, he said the free conversion is to encourage more people to adopt gas as alternative energy for the country’s economic benefits.
Describing the National Gas Expansion Programme as the beginning of a new era in the country’s oil and gas, the Minister said the federal government has initiated efforts to deliver sustainable energy by improving gas availability and accessibility.
“This administration is dedicated to implementing programmes that are focused on improving the lives of its citizens, creating jobs, building indigenous technical expertise and stimulating other sectors of the economy to address unemployment among our youths, which despite increased activity in the oil and gas sector remains one of our biggest challenges.
“We must as one country develop long-term development strategies to grow our economy in real terms. A significant part of this is the harnessing of our natural gas resources to focus on manufacturing and productivity. Not until this is done can we achieve the desired result.
“With this in mind, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, which you all know is headed by the President himself is focusing on the development of skills, technology and manpower to the growth of LPG, CNG and LNG” he said.
According to the Minister, the initiative is part of government’s efforts to key into the global shift from crude to gas and other renewable energy sources.
Earlier in his comment, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari said LPG provides a cleaner and cheaper alternative energy to petrol.
While expressing dissatisfaction that the federal government spent over a whopping N3 trillion between 2016 to 2019 subsidising the price of petroleum, Mr. Kyari said the situation has deprived the country of the anticipated prosperity as resources required to build critical infrastructure, improve the economy, attract investment has been gulped by the subsidy regime.
While stating that the country will have about a million CNG and LPG-powered vehicles by the end of 2021, Kyari said conversion service centres will be stationed at the certified NNPC retail stations in the FCT, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara, Kano, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Lagos, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa states.
In his remarks, the Director Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Sarki Auwalu expressed the commitment of the department to continue in its quests to enable businesses and create opportunities to enhance the gas value chain.
He assured that measures have been put in place to guarantee the safety of LPG and CNG users, insisting that there is no cause for fear.
President Muhammadu Buhari who joined virtually said the programme will encourage investment through the establishment of conducive and enabling environment in order to encourage and galvanise potential investors in the gas sub-sector of the economy.
According to the President, the auto gas initiative is coming at the right time especially in view of the global crude oil market fluctuations, coupled with the full deregulation of PMS.