Number of Nigeria’s gas-powered vehicles hit 5000
The growing number of vehicles running on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) has raised optimism about gas utilisation in the country, as the Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company (NIPCO) Plc, disclosed that over 5000 vehicles are currently in that category.
The indigenous oil and gas marketing firm, which is among the few firms championing the CNG projects in the country, said it would ultimately reduced dependence on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol.
Head of Public Affairs, NIPCO, Taofeek Lawal, said that contrary to other opinions, CNG powered vehicles have come to stay in Nigeria, since the inception of the project in 2009.
He said the project is currently implemented through its Benin CNG facility in Edo State, while plans are in top gear to replicate it in other part of the country.
According to him, the aim of the CNG refilling stations in Nigeria, especially in Lagos, was to provide alternative to PMS) or petrol at a reduced cost and to boost national socio-economic growth.
He also said that beside the economic gains, CNG targeted reduction of unfriendly automobile emissions and exposure of Nigerians to the innovation of powering vehicles on gas.
NIPCO’s spokesperson said that the company had about 10 CNG operating stations nationwide, while others were under construction.
He said that the patronage of CNG refilling station, at Ibafo, Ogun, was impressive with an average of five minutes’ drive by commercial buses and private vehile owners.
“CNG sustainability in Nigeria and Lagos is sustainable considering Nigeria is one of the largest producers of Natural Gas.
“Ibafo CNG station, near Lagos, is a world class facility with about 12 dispensing pump for light and heavy duty trucks refilling facilities.
“It is also sustainable in that private sector is taking the lead, as government provides enabling environment for it to thrive,’’ he said.
Lawal said that the conversion of vehicles to become CNG compatible cost between N200,000 and N300,000.
He said that the cost profile of CNG vehicular conversion came with a flexible repayment package and depended on the choice of kit.
He also identified poor awareness about the innovative CNG powered vehicles to the absence of policy on natural gas vehicles and lack of natural gas supply across Nigeria.