Federal Gov’t Slashes CNG Conversion Rates For Commercial Transporters 

Business Owners Get Federal Govt’s N150,000 Grant In Ekiti

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The Federal Government has rolled out plans to subsidise CNG vehicle conversion kits by 50 per cent for road transport union members as part of its move to convert one million vehicles from PMS to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) by 2027.

Programme Director and Chief Executive Officer of Presidential Initiative on CNG, Engr. Micheal Oluwagbemi disclosed this in Kaduna on Tuesday while speaking at the Northern stakeholders’ engagement organised by the Initiative.

Engr. Oluwagbemi disclosed that the Federal Government has procured over 20,000 conversion kits that would be immediately deployed for the conversion incentive programme.

According to him, “We are launching what we called the Conversion Incentive Programme with members of the NURTW, RTEAN and NARTO being our immediate focus. This is because they are the operators in the road transport sector providing 90 per cent of the transportation in the country to members of the public.

“We will be making the conversion kits available to them at 50% discount and we are also ensuring that, the installation cost is free. We are already negotiating already with our partners who will initiate that project in the next week.

“We have already identified eight conversion centers in four states, namely Kwara, Lagos, FCT and Rivers that will pilot the programme. Immediately after that, we will start expanding to other conversion vent that we have identified and they are 120 of them across the country,” Oluwagbemi said.

 

He the subsidised conversion programme is part of President Bola Tinubu’s goal of having one million vehicles converted to CNG by 2027.

 

In his keynote address, Kaduna State Governor, Senator Uba Sani, who was represented by the Commissioner for Works, Architect Ibrahim Hamza, commended the Federal Government’s Initiative in setting a phase in switching from petrol powered vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas powered vehicles, particularly the buses category.

 

He said, “Transportation is one of the major promoters of our socio-economic activities which deals with the movement of persons, goods and freight from one point to another. This consists of air, land and sea among other modes. The service is known to be carried out for both private and commercial purposes. In our country, the land mode is the major means of transportation which heavily relies on the use of fossil fuels for its operation.

 

“Other forms of transportations include air and sea which also uses fossil fuels that includes Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS), Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), Jet Oil and other Combustible fuels which emit harmful Substances to the atmosphere.

 

“According to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (2018); there are almost 12 million vehicles plying our roads daily. Hence you can imagine the volume of contaminated emissions released into the air by this massive number of fleets and the number of aquatic and terrestrial lives that they are affecting daily.

 

“Previously, in Kaduna State, we were faced with a system that lacks a comprehensive commercial Transport Document and a vast number of MDAs and organisations were all handling Transport Operations independently without any proper coordination which resulted to a system that lacks clear rules and guidelines for various operators in the sector.

 

“Another major challenge we experienced is from the nature of vehicles we use which are mostly powered by petroleum products that amount to thousands of fleets emitting poisonous gasses to our environment daily and also a high contributing factor toward pollution. These burning gasoline and diesel fuel creates harmful byproducts like nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, benzene, Sulphur oxide and formaldehyde.

 

“However, it’s worthy to note that; the effects of pollution on our environment affects our health in so many negative ways by releasing harmful substances which we inhale into our respiratory systems. Some of these substances are carcinogenic meaning toxic and poisonous causing cancer and other deadly diseases.

 

“Pollution does not only stay at affecting health but also our climate system. Emission of harmful gasses to the atmosphere has overtime resulted in an obvious shift in our normal climatic change including global warming which gave rise to floods in many areas around the world due to what is called melting of sea icebergs and other negative catastrophes. Global warming also results in sun burns due to its effect on the ozone layer which controls the magnitude of ultraviolet radiation of the sun to the earth and its inhabitants.

“Releasing harmful chemicals to the water bodies has been a major factor in eliminating aquatic creatures and spoiling drinking waters especially in remote villages which generally fetch their water from the rivers and streams which are contaminated by human activities.

 

“As a result, the government feels it is necessary to provide cleaner and cheaper options of energy in this sector for the public to benefit from. It is in light of the above; that we in Kaduna state like in any other state across the federation deemed it necessary to actively support and participate in this FGN initiative which we believe is a giant stride in the right direction in order to address a major climatic and economic factor in our transport sectors. We believe that this initiative will be among the best decisions this administration can offer to the public in terms of providing a cleaner and cheaper means of transportation to the masses,” the governor said.

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