By Udeme Akpan
The Federal Government has disclosed that automobile owners will pay up to N250, 000 for conversion targeted at enabling them run on gas.
Speaking at Channels Television Programme monitored by Vanguard, Justice Derefaka, Technical Adviser on Gas Business and Policy Implementation to Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the conversion would be carried out at various centres nationwide.
He said: “The conversion of your vehicle is not something that will take three weeks or seven days; it will take you around seven to eight hours because they (technicians) need to do a diagnosis of your vehicle to see if it is fit for conversion. After that, they will test for roadworthiness and then proceed.”
“The owner of the car will decide to say I want to run on autogas or CNG or LNG and like the honourable minister had mentioned before, conversion has basic strands, you can partner with your bank and the bank will now agree with the conversion centre to convert your vehicle, not for free entirely.
“The installer will now put some form of mechanism that each time you buy the gas; a certain amount will be deducted to pay for the conversion kit. Some people will say it is too expensive but I do not think it is because within a period of five to seven months, you’ve already paid off the cost.”
He added: “The cost varies, it depends on the cylinder of the vehicle but on the average, it is around N200, 000 to N250, 000 and this is for a four-cylinder vehicle but it becomes a little bit higher for a six-cylinder vehicle. If you take your vehicle to some of the centres like the one commissioned yesterday (Tuesday), technicians and original equipment manufacturers are there so you can bring your vehicles for conversion to start running on gas.”
Previously, speaking at the launch of the policy in Abuja on Tuesday, Chief Sylva, had said: “We would start in the first quarter of next year with over 100 buses and we would continue to incrementally add the buses until we get to that number. We are going to have one million conversion kits, which would be with the people who would be converting the vehicles. Any motorist that wants to convert his or her vehicle would only drive into the conversion centres and convert their vehicles free at all time.
“Unfortunately, we have not utilized our gas resources optimally. We have over 200 trillion cubic feet of gas, TCF, already discovered. We have initiated programmes in the gas supply side, with the proposed launch of gas facilities in Edo State and the National Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, but we needed to boost the utilization side, and that is what this programme is about. Today’s roll-out marks the optimal utilisation of Nigeria’s gas resources across the country.”
He had added: “The availability of autogas as an alternative fuel option will afford Nigerians cheaper, cleaner and additional choice of fuel, cheaper than the price of PMS, cleaner for our environment, better for our automobiles and other engines.”