ByÂ Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€” IN order to alleviate the sufferings being faced by Nigerian during scarcity of petroleum products in the country, the Federal Government has admonished Nigerians to embrace the use of Condensed Natural Gas (CNG) for their vehicles.
According to the government, the product, which would be launched in October, 2009, will go a long way in supporting its de-regulation programme and end gas flaring in the Niger Delta.
Disclosing this to newsmen in Benin City yesterday, shortly after inspecting four sites for the use of CNG constructed by NIPCO Nigeria Plc, Special Adviser to the President on Petroleum Matters, Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah, said the Federal Government was determined to provide alternative sources to power and energy in the country.
He assured that special incentives would be given to some category of vehicle owners to convert their vehicles into the use of Condensed Natural Gas which, according to him, is more economical than petrol and other sources of energy.
He said the CNG was designed to ensure that government provided the required policies in the CNG sector as well as encourage Nigerians to switch to the use of CNG as had been done in countries such as India and the United States .
Disclosing that the Federal Governmentâ€™s stake in the investment was 30 per cent, Dr. Egbogah stated that â€œ the Federal Government decided to invest in it when we discovered that CNG is most environmental friendly, economical and will end this problem of scarcity of petroleum products and also the issue of gas flaring addressed.
â€œIt will help businesses a lot because it is cost effective. That is why the federal government wants the petroleum sector deregulated in order to make the product available and cheaper for our people.
â€œSo this alternative source for powering vehicles is one of those things government is doing to cushion the effects of scarcity and high cost of these petroleum products so that we can support businesses to grow as it is in other developed countries.â€
Managing Director of NIPCO Plc, Girish Sanadhya, who disclosed thatÂ Nigeria has 187 trillion metric tones of CNG, said the efforts his company had put in the project to make it work put it ahead of its competitors.
He revealed that the company had completed 95 per cent of construction needed, which include steel work, civil and mechanical installations, laying of steel pipelines, procurement of conversion equipment for vehicles and the conversion of some cars already to the use of the CNG.
He explained that vehicles would be redesigned to be able to use either petrol or CNG with the installation of a switch on the vehicleâ€™s dashboard, adding that over 10 million vehicles were already using the product all over the world.
Sanadhya said the ambition of the proponents of the use of the commodity was to ensure that 20 million people used the CNG in Nigeria by 2020.