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‘Gas-powered engines to check emission, transportation costs’

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With Nigeria’s inflation escalating monthly due to the rising cost of essential consumption, operators in the gas downstream sector have advocated the need for increased conversion to gas-powered vehicles for efficiency and reduction in carbon footprint.

The Federal Government, in August, announced that it was developing a backward integration policy that would aid the initial importation of dual-fuel engines and domestic manufacturing policy via an executive order effective January 2021.

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According to the NBS, transportation makes up 6.4 per cent of consumption expenditure of millions of naira next only to food at over 50 per cent. Transport is also a key input cost for determining food prices and conducting business in the country.

A combination of bad roads, poor infrastructure, exchange rate increase, removal of fuel subsidies, and a general rise in prices of goods and services have impacted transportation costs across the country.

To address these concerns, the Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company (NIPCO) has expressed its commitment to ensuring that more vehicles run on gas in Nigeria to improve efficiency and guarantee a cleaner environment.

Managing Director, NIPCO Gas Limited (NGL), Sanjay Teotia, said the firm remains committed to providing access to motorists to convert their cars to run on gas in furtherance of the Federal Government’s renewed initiative to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

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Speaking on the sidelines of a gas utilization forum organized by Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria, Teotia said NGL, which is a subsidiary of NIPCO Plc, is providing a plethora of infrastructure to facilitate the use of gas as the preferred energy source for motorist and industrial concerns.

He described the new drive of the Federal Government as very apt to spur the use of gas in transportation.

The company, which has so far fitted about 6,000 vehicles to run on gas since its inauguration by the then Minister of Petroleum Resources, Rilwan Lukman in 2009, in Benin, Edo State, is pioneering gas-powered automobiles as viable alternatives to white products.

He noted that the initiative was conceptualized to offer alternative fuel to motorists as a result of the huge sums of money being expended on fuel subsidy, as it provides cheaper fuel and improves the efficiency of vehicles.

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Teotia said NIPCO has so far inaugurated eight Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) filling stations in strategic locations, and also established the biggest gas compression plant in West Africa in Nigeria.

He applauded the Federal Government’s initiative to ensure that more cars, especially commercial vehicles run on gas, adding that NGL has positioned itself strategically to ensure the realization of this noble objective to the benefit of Nigerians and a clean environment.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo had said one of the strategies to make energy cheaper for Nigerians to carry out their daily activities is by using CNG through the conversion of cars to run on gas.

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Teotia said the company’s efforts, which have facilitated more motorist embracing gas as preferred fuel especially in Benin, Edo State, where the pilot project took off and Ibafo, Ogun State, where the biggest gas compression plant in Africa is situated, is in tandem with the Federal Government’s renewed initiative to enable motorists to have the capacity to use both gas and petrol for vehicles.

He noted that the effort to promote the conversion of commercial vehicles based on the expensive nature of the kits is very apt, adding that it would be good for cars too with commensurate support.

According to him, the Benin pilot project is a good illustration of cars running on gas as thousands of taxis in the axis are already powered with gas.

He noted that the NGL entry into the gas realm has created lots of employment opportunities for Nigerians and exposure to the latest technology in gas compression and conversion of vehicles.

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