Determined to promote a cheaper and cleaner alternative fuel to petrol in the country, the federal government says it would make conversion and installation of autogas in vehicles affordable to Nigerians.
Since the recent decision to remove fuel subsidy from the pricing template of premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol, in the country, the price of the commodity has spiked from about N145 per litre to about N161.
With increasing prospects of a further rise in retail petrol pump price commensurate with the increase in crude oil prices at the international oil market, the government has stepped up the search for alternative fuels for petrol.
The minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva, has spoken of plans by the government to introduce compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas as cheaper and reliable alternatives for car owners and motorists in the country.
As part of the gas roll-out plans, the minister said in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to usher in the new era of gas as a better fuel for Nigerians, the government was intensifying efforts to provide autogas as alternative, to mitigate the effects of rising cost of petrol.
During a visit to an autogas dispensing station and conversion inspection exercise at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Autogas Dispensing facility Jahi and Autolady Garage in Abuja, Mr Sylva announced that some government official vehicles were currently being converted to gas.
The minister, who expressed satisfaction with the conversion process so far, charged the conversion centres to make vehicles and user safety a priority during the conversion process.
Some of the vehicles being converted to gas include some of those in the presidential convoy and the minister’s official fleet.
The executive secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Abdulkadir Saidu, who accompanied the minister on the inspection, said the government would ensure autogas becomes available to Nigerians all over the country.
“Nigerians can be rest assured of the government’s undying commitment to provide a cheaper and cleaner alternative to PMS (petrol), as retail prices have been on an upward climb in recent months following the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
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“Aside from the fact that autogas is cheaper, we are also concerned about making the conversion of cars affordable so that Nigerians can indeed reap the advantage of this new policy,” he said.
After the inspections, the PPPRA head said that some filling stations across the country were already keying into the gas plan by adding autogas dispensers to their stations.
He urged Nigerians to embrace autogas as gas powered vehicles are cheaper and environmentally friendly than any other fuel available on the market today.
He also noted that the majority of vehicles built in the last two decades were well suited for conversion to dual fuel applications, and are therefore safe for all Nigerians willing to convert their vehicles.