CNG vehicle conversion is economical, affordable- Oyebanji

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Lagos

Mr Tunji Oyebanji, the Chief Executive Officer of 11 Plc has enjoined Nigerians to convert their petrol-powered vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) ones, noting that it is affordable and economical.

Oyebanji gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.

NAN reports that President Bola Tinubu on Aug. 18 approved the establishment of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (PCNGI) to facilitate nationwide adoption of gas-powered vehicles.

The initiative was in furtherance of his commitment to easing the impact of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians by reducing energy costs.

He said that the cost incurred in conversion of vehicle on CNG can be recovered within six to nine months depending on type of vehicle and average daily vehicle running.

According to him, CNG is surely a sustainable automobile fuel and around 25 million vehicles are running on natural gas world over.

“To name few, China has 5.4 million, Iran (four million), India  (three million), Pakistan (theee million), Argentina (2.2 million), Brazil (1.8 million), and Italy (1.1 million) CNG vehicles.

“With abundant availability of natural gas in Nigeria, CNG can play a major role as preferred automobile fuel for masses.

“CNG is certainly more economical than PMS or AGO and due to indigenous availability of natural gas, CNG is least impacted by fluctuation of crude/fuel prices internationally,” he said.

Oyebanji, who is also the former Chairman of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), said that embracing the use of CNG would certainly reduce importation of other fossil fuels.

According to him, it will therefore help to save the nation’s foreign reserves.

He said that the cost of petrol in Nigeria depends on international prices, importation and U.S. dollar to Naira conversion.

Oyebanji reiterated that the introduction of CNG would provide an option of alternate automobile fuel, but would not have any impact on cost of petrol.

On advice to government, he said that government was already taking all necessary action for making availability of cost-effective automobile fuel.

“Government has already made statement for reduction of duty and VAT on CNG kits.

“Government has already taken a very bold and progressive initiative by removal of subsidy.

“Removal of subsidy may give hardship to masses in very short term but certainly it is going to benefit the masses and Nigeria as whole in long run.

“With the removal of subsidy and reduced dependency on importation of fuel, the economy of Nigeria, definitely, will be on improvement path,” Oyebanji emphasised.

On measures to cushion CNG usage, he said: “As far as we are aware, through various news articles, the government is already putting in place all measures to ease the CNG transition.

“It is making availability of mass transportation vehicles, reduction in CNG kit pricing, by way of duty and VAT removal, initiative for conversion of Keke NAPEP and cars etc.

“We feel that for the betterment of the masses and the Nigerian economy, some working time need to be given to the government and agencies.

“This will allow them work towards reducing the hardship being faced by the masses, presently,” he added.

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