The Federal Government has concluded plans to roll out 9000 autogas filling stations from the existing 10,000 retail outlets across the country under the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) within the next six months.
Chairman of the NGEP, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, who disclosed this at the weekend said the NGEP has gone very far in reflating the economy by leveraging on the nation’s gas resources despite the frustration of its activities by the subsidy cabals and some stakeholders who said the gas expansion programme would never work.
He spoke just as the N250bn NGEP fund remained dormant in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the past four years over stringent conditions attached to it.
Ibrahim spoke in Lagos during the Annual Training Workshop of the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) with the theme, “Fuel Subsidy Removal: Autogas/Electric Vehicles as Alternatives”.
The NGEP was conceived to serve as a catalyst for adding value to the vast natural gas reserves Nigeria is endowed with.
The Chairman who was the guest speaker at the workshop insisted that gas was cheaper and more environmentally friendly for vehicles following the removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government.
He stated that the promise of the Tinubu-led administration to create 100 million jobs was achievable with the gas expansion programme, saying the multi-fuel scheme which enables vehicle owners to fill their tank with liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG) as well as the conventional premium motor spirit would take off in the next 6 months despite resistance from some stakeholders.
According to him, over 5m conversion kits were needed to convert 30m internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to CNG or LNG which would create 12.5m jobs. He noted that autogas has potentials “to really reflate the economy if it is properly done.”
He said, “Under our NGEP programme, we have what we call the multi-fuel scheme whereby we do not intend to shut down the current petrol stations that we have in the country, about 10,000 of them and like I said earlier we have carried out an audit whereby 9000 of 10,000 qualify to retrofit to become multi-fuel.
“So what is going to happen and we have a couple already in the system, is that, you drive into a filling station, you are going to have dispensing facilities for your petrol, diesel, and kerosene but in addition you are going to have the dispensing facilities with the cryogenic tower that enables you to have access to LNG and also a dispensing pump for CNG and also a charging point for your electric vehicles.
“So it becomes a multi-fuel retail outlet that enables you to have access to LNG for your long hauls, CNG for your 300km maximum and conventional petrol, diesel and kerosene.
“But you don’t even need a separate CNG facility because all you just need is if you have your cryogenic tower, you can generate CNG from your LNG in your station by an addition of a pump.”
On the N250bn NGEP fund domiciled in CBN, he noted that no individual or company had accessed it because of the stringent conditions attached to it.
He said the former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele did not listen to his team that the conditions should be made less stringent to make it accessible to companies involved in the autogas value chain.