Nigeria’s transportation industry will soon begin to see relief after the federal government’s petrol subsidy removal spiked exponential rise in the price of the product across the country.
The national president of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, said the Association is 90 per cent ready to roll out Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as alternative automotive fuel, which it is going to sell between N100 to N110 per litre before the end of June.
Okoronkwo, who confirmed said this on Channels Television’s Business Morning programme on Monday, stressed that CNG has come to serve as an alternative to petrol.
Okoronkwo, explained that CNG would help bring down the cost of energy in the country, adding, “Very soon, we will roll out. We are 90 per cent close to that, and that will also unveil many possibilities.”
He noted that fuel subsidy removal had reduced the speed with which Nigeria could have gotten another energy mix
“IPMAN has brought relief to a lot of families. We have got the usage of our natural energy, CNG, to power vehicles, generators, and even cooking,” the IPMAN president said.
The CNG is expected to reduce, to a large extent, the country’s exposure to fuel importation as natural gas would not be imported.
Okoronkwo noted that CNG-powered cars had started gaining momentum in the country because of increased awareness about its efficiency and affordability, compared to traditional fuels like diesel and petrol.
“If the government buys into what we are saying, it will act as an assistance, bring relief, and create job opportunities.
“What we need the government to do is create the market. The demand is there,” the IPMAN president said.
He added that IPMAN had gotten a lot of buy-in from companies overseas.
On what the CNG brings to the value-chain, he said, “I don’t know if you have seen what is trending this week where people with their I-pass-my- neighbour generators are beginning to use liquified petroleum gas. LPG is close to N700 per kilogramme, but this natural gas we are talking about is under N100 to N110.
“When you check what the impact will be, it will reduce the cost of food because people coming from the hinterlands bring food to the cities. From Kano, it takes them about N1.2 million to fuel trucks with diesel, but with this CNG, it will cost them about N150,000 to N200,000. About a million naira is saved that will translate to cheaper food and open up a lot of other businesses.
“It will provide cheaper energy to drive the processing zones like the agro-based industries, where the gas will also create a lot of impact.
“CNG does not replace PMS, but it is a choice. We are talking of something that will help your purse and not deepen it.”
The director of Gas Analytics and Solutions Limited, Shuaibu Bello, who also spoke at the Channels Television programme, said the CNG would be a game-changer for Nigerians.
“This is the best palliative you can give the nation. If you talk of palliative, it is not just sharing money with people, it is creating a system that will reach the rich and the poor.
“If you compare CNG price at N110 per litre with petrol now at N540 or its former price of N185, still you will have a reduction,” he said.
IPMAN had in April 2023 wrote to the Finance ministry to request that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) be mandated to release N250 billion intervention fund for the implementation of the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP).
IPMAN explained it asked for the fund to provide access to the Gas Expansion Fund for vehicle, commercial tricycle and truck owners to access loans to finance the acquisition of natural gas conversion kits.
At the time, IPMAN said that it had partnered with Gas Analytics & Solutions Limited to co-locate natural gas dispensers on their network of over 30,000 filling stations in Nigeria.
According to IPMAN, it controls over 80 per cent of the downstream oil sector, and as such, the collocation model would help to reduce the exposure in building new filling stations.
Similarly, the manager corporate Communications of NipCo, Biodun Lawal, speaking on the company’s desire to depeen investment in the gas sector, said the savings that will accrue from subsidy removal offers more vista of opportunities to fund the enormous gas infrastructure deficit in the nation .
“We are still investing more infrastructure with a proviso that clientele will improve sporadically
Some of the challenges in harnessing the abundant gas resources in the country includes – paucity of pipelines to transport gas across the country ,cost of conversion to use gas as auto fuel , access to gas through stations .
“With all modesty NIPCO gas Limited is the only company with over 12 CNG get to get gas for motorist” he said.
Continuing, Lawal, said motorist can now see the innate benefits in running their vehicles on gas rather than fossil fuels which government has in the past graciously subsidised even at the expense of the overall economic growth and other socio -economic development of the nation .
According to him, CNG as a preferred alternative to petrol is good for gas companies as the nation at large as or offered veritable opportunity of creating more employment opportunities ,better value creation in the Industry ,better utilisation of the endowed gas resources of the country .
He said, the benefits are enormous for motorist in terms of savings and life span of such automobiles and that the conversion cost should not be a drawback with support from government especially with fiscal policies to encourage investors to go into kits manufacturing and ancillary items like cylinders etc .
“In the interim policies can be put in place for exemption from levies of imported accessories pending when the environment will be made more conducive for it’s manufacturing in Nigeria CNG business has a good horizon in the country with the challenges tacked headlong
Lawal, said as pioneers NipCo gas, is looking forward to more inroads in the sector.