The Minister of Transport, Sa’idu Alkali, has officially launched the introduction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles as a strategic measure to reduce fuel costs and enhance efficiency in Nigeria. The launch took place at the CNG Conversion Station in the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) in Abuja, where the vehicles were introduced to the Nigerian market.
During the event, Minister Alkali emphasized that the conversion of vehicles to dual engines using CNG can potentially generate over 200 Billion Naira for the federal government for every one million converted cars. To achieve this, the Ministry of Transport has engaged in extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders and transport operators to encourage their participation in this one-off expenditure, considering the rising costs of energy.
Representing the Minister, Mrs. Akhidenor Cynthia, Assistant Director of the Ministry, highlighted that CNG is primarily composed of methane, which is compressed to occupy less than 1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. It can be safely stored and distributed in hard containers at a pressure of 20-25 Megapascals, usually in cylindrical or spherical shapes. Furthermore, CNG is odorless, colorless, clear, non-corrosive, and non-toxic, making it a viable, cheaper, and cleaner energy source readily available in Nigeria.
Minister Alkali emphasized that the transportation sector is one of the largest consumers of fuel in the country, and the adoption of CNG as an alternative energy source can significantly reduce air, noise, and vehicular exhaust pollution, including carbon monoxide emissions. Additionally, CNG offers energy security and improved fuel efficiency. Moreover, CNG-powered cars have a longer lifespan compared to petrol vehicles due to the cleaner burning fuel, making them safer and more financially accessible.
Dr. Bayero Salih-Farah, the Director General of NITT, welcomed the initiative and highlighted its significance in transforming the transportation sector in Nigeria. He commended the presidential committee of the CNG for their efforts in driving the realization of this initiative. Dr. Salih-Farah also announced that NITT has designated its office as a conversion center for all vehicle categories to be converted to CNG, urging motorists in Abuja and its environs to take advantage of the facilities and embrace cleaner and more cost-effective energy.
Engr. Michael Oluwagbemi, the Program Director of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (P-CNGi), spoke about the launch of the affiliated Conversion Center as a significant step towards an energy revolution. He emphasized that the initiative goes beyond technology, as it represents a shift in mindset, habits, and responsibilities towards our environment and economy. Oluwagbemi encouraged individuals to embrace the vision for a cleaner, more sustainable, and economically sound future by adopting CNG vehicles.