President Muhammadu Buhari is set to launch a National auto-gas scheme on December 1 as the Federal Government moves to create an alternative fuel for automobiles and other prime movers in Nigeria. The country also aims to maximize its rich natural gas reserves as a means of fuel consumption. This was disclosed by Dr Mohammed Ibrahim, Chairman, National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP), in a statement after a meeting with stakeholders in Lagos. Mr Ibrahim noted that the autogas scheme and deepening domestic utilisation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) would create about 12.5 million direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians.
He disclosed that cars in the presidential fleet had been converted to run on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
”We need about 500, 000 conversion engineers in the next 90 days to ensure that the retrofitting of the vehicles go as planned.
“Fifty conversion centres are currently upgrading for mass conversion and training and over 30,000 vehicles are already running on dual fuels in Nigeria.
“The 90 days training is being undertaken by the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board and the Petroleum Trust and Development Fund.
” These entrepreneurs will get their own foundries for manufacturing and will thereafter train others as time goes on,” Dr Ibrahim said.
Mr Ibrahim said the need to switch from PMS (petrol) to gas was caused by the deregulation of petrol by the government, which had led to increment in the pump prices in recent times.
According to him, gas is a cheaper, safer and cleaner source of energy, hence the need to maximise its utilisation in Nigeria.
Mr Ibrahim said the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) had issued new guidelines that were encouraging multi-fuel models for existing filling stations, which would be available nationwide within 30 months.
Similarly, Mr President appreciated Nigerians and Organized Labour for their display of restraint, understanding and patience as the country tackles economic challenges, assuring that the Federal Government is working hard to ameliorate the situation.
“Let me now express my deep appreciation to Nigerians for their patience, and Organized Labour for its maturity and patriotism as we collectively navigate these global economic and other challenges.’’
He also said it is no longer news the vast Natural Gas resources, which the country is enriched with have hitherto been used sub-optimally as a result of a dearth of gas processing facilities and infrastructural connectivity for effective and optimal domestic utilization.