Nigeria’s Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has praised the private sector for its role in advancing the country’s compressed natural gas (CNG) initiative, which aims to reduce the dependence on imported fuel and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Idris spoke at the commissioning of a CNG plant built by ABG Group, a Nigerian conglomerate, in Abuja on Tuesday, January 2, 2024
He also witnessed the graduation of 40 CNG conversion technicians trained by the company.
According to the Minister, CNG is a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to premium motor spirits, commonly known as petrol, for powering vehicles.
He commended President Bola Tinubu for his vision and leadership in promoting CNG as a key component of Nigeria’s energy transition.
“The CNG is the future and it is therefore important for Nigerian entrepreneurs to seize advantage of government policy on the CNG by investing in the human and material assets required to grow its infrastructure across Nigeria,” Idris said.
He added that the government has allocated N100 billion to support the CNG initiative, which has also gained the backing of the Nigerian Labour Congress, the country’s largest trade union.
ABG Group’s chairman, Alhaji Bawa Garba, said his company is grateful to the president for his support and is committed to being a pioneer in the CNG sector. He said the CNG plant, which has a capacity of 50,000 cubic meters per day, will supply gas to about 5,000 vehicles daily.
“Our group is thankful to President Tinubu for the bold decision to adopt CNG. We are always a pioneering company, and our involvement in the CNG initiative is underscored by training multitudes of CNG conversion engineers across Nigeria,” Garba said.
CNG, which is mainly composed of methane, is a cleaner-burning fuel that can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25% compared to petrol, according to the International Energy Agency. CNG also costs significantly less than petrol in Nigeria, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Nigeria has an estimated 203 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves, the largest in Africa and the ninth-largest in the world. However, most of the gas is flared or exported as liquefied natural gas, rather than used for domestic consumption.
The government hopes to change that by expanding the CNG infrastructure and creating incentives for vehicle owners to switch to CNG.
It has set a target of converting one million vehicles to CNG by 2027.
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