Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Sunday urged the Federal Government to promote the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the country.
He made the plea during a courtesy visit by the management of NIPCO Plc to Obasanjo Hilltop Estate in Abeokuta, on the need by the the Federal Government to promote use of CNG as a vehicular fuel.
Obasanjo said in a bid to promote cleaner environment, the use of CNG was signed during his tenure President, to develop gas as a vehicular source of fuel.
“If other governments had promoted the use of LPG and CNG in Nigeria, half of the country’s vehicles would have been converted to gas.
“The essence is to provide alternative to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol at a reduced cost and to boost national socio-economic growth,” The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes him as saying.
The Managing Director, NIPCO Plc, Mr Venkataraman Venkatapathy, said that Nigeria would have saved government over two billion dollars yearly, if the use of CNG is promoted in the country.
According to Venkatapathy, globally, the natural gas industry is increasing its focus and efforts to support natural gas transport. He said that the CNG project was between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and NIPCO, through a joint-venture scheme called Green Gas Ltd.
Venkatapathy explained that the initiative, which is the first of its kind in West Africa, is ushering in a new era of vehicles running on the CNG in Nigeria with its attendant benefits
He said that CNG “is a superior auto fuel alternation to liquid fuels, mainly petrol and diesel specifically for countries like Nigeria which is blessed with abundant availability of natural gas remains untapped.”
According to him, to replace 20 per cent of current petrol consumption of Nigeria, Natural gas required is less than five per cent of the total domestic gas consumed currently and less than one percent of the current gas production.
“This will save the country over two billion dollars yearly in foreign exchange.
“In Benin City, Edo State, over 4,000 vehicles run on CNG which resulted in replacing 20 million litres of petrol from 2012 to 2015 and which also saved over nine million dollars for the country,” he said.
The managing director said that CNG had more benefits than petrol, adding that some of the benefit include low operating costs, lower maintenance costs and it reduces harmful vehicle emissions that cause local air pollution.