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Why CNG Vehicles Can’t Work In Nigeria – Babachir Lawal

Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr Babachir Lawal, has said the use of Compressed Natural Gas vehicles will not work in Nigeria…

Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr Babachir Lawal, has said the use of Compressed Natural Gas vehicles will not work in Nigeria except the federal government provides the framework for its functionality.

He said the government needs to put in place necessary infrastructure that will lubricate the effectiveness of the CNG vehicles, or else it will be catastrophic.

He said this during an interview on Daily Politics, a programme on Trust TV.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies to start converting all petrol or diesel-powered vehicles or generators to CNG.

The president gave the new directive “in line with his commitment to ensure energy security, drive utility, and cut high fuel costs,” according to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale.

The government also said that the CNG-powered buses will be unveiled on May 29, 2024, for the masses when the current administration will clock one year.

But the former SGF said it is not sustainable, alleging that it is a means for the governors and other government officials to mismanage the nation’s resources.

He also said there have to be gas stations everywhere in the country on the highway so that one can go there to refill whenever the vehicles run out of gas.

He said, “They will display for who? Last time they gave money to the governors to buy buses, they call it palliatives, isn’t it?

“I’ve seen one bus in my state, in Adamawa. I’ve seen one bus plying my Mubi-Yola. I took note of the number. I saw one, I’ve not seen any other one. Sometimes, we go to provide solutions that don’t make sense.

“The other day, I was talking to one of the ministers, and was complaining about the cost of diesel which is spent on tractors every week. I spent about 75 litres of diesel on my farm. And that’s a lot of money. Yesterday I bought two drums of diesel which were 50 litres. I bought it for N700,000, and it lasts for one week if I’m lucky.

“When I complained, he said ‘convert your tractors to CNG’. I’m an engineer, then I asked, where in Adamawa will I get the gas? Or where am I going to get it if I’m going to Abuja and run out of gas? Where will I get the gas from? So the infrastructure must be on the ground.”

Speaking further, Lawal said, “Typical government. They talk, they talk grammar, and they leave out the implementation which should have seen the filling stations first. Let’s see the filling stations first. Let them be all over the place.

“He (Tinubu) is putting the cart before the horse. Let’s see the infrastructure for refilling the gas. If I go buy a car or convert my car to CNG, and maybe run out of gas on my way, what do I do? Park the car and come back to Abuja with the cylinder on my head. So, there must be filling stations along the road.

“The argument is that it is cheaper and more efficient than… that is the argument. I’ve seen some vehicles that use gas, the Dangote trucks, they carry hefty cylinders, and even if it runs out of gas in Mubi, he ran to Yola. At least that’s how they do their own,” he added.

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