FG launches CNG vehicles to mark Tinubu’s first year in office

THE federal government is set to launch and deploy compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles for mass transit starting this May as part of activities marking President Bola Tinubu’s one year in office.

Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, April 21.

Onanuga said the government, while considering buses and tricycles, also targeted about one million automobiles by 2027. He said the committee led by Michael Oluwagbemi was set to deliver cheaper, safer, and more climate-friendly energy vehicles.


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He explained that all was ready to deliver the first set of critical assets for deployment and launch of the vehicles ahead of the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration on May 29.

He stated, “Also, a safety policy document on 80 standards and regulations that must be strictly adhered to by operators has been developed and approved to ensure CNG conversions are done safely and reliably.

“The deployment of CNG buses and tricycles and the vision to get at least one million natural gas-propelled vehicles on our roads by 2027 will mark a major energy transition in our country’s transportation industry.

“The use of more expensive diesel and PMS will gradually be phased out, when many vehicles, including trucks, run on natural gas, which our nation has in abundance in at least 30 out of the 36 states of the federation,” he added.

He further stated that with necessary tax and duty waivers approved by Tinubu in December 2023, the private sector partners in the Presidential CNG Initiative (PCNGI) had responded with over $50 million in actual investments in refuelling stations, conversion centres, and mother stations.

He also disclosed that the federal government provided N100 billion, as part of the N500 billion palliative budget, to purchase 5,500 CNG vehicles as part of the intervention programmes to cushion the effect of an increase in petrol pump prices on the masses. This included buses and tricycles, 100 electric buses, and over 20,000 CNG conversion kits, spurring the development of CNG refilling stations and electric charging stations.

According to Onanuga, “Four plants owned by JET, Mikano, Mojo, and Brilliant EV located in various parts of the country are involved in the assembly of the semi knocked down (SKD) components of the CNG buses.




     

     

    “JET, which has received the SKD parts, is coupling the buses in Lagos and is working towards delivering 200 units before the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration.

    “Brilliant EV will assemble electric vehicles. It is awaiting the SKD parts, which will arrive in due course. The electric vehicles it will produce are meant for states, such as Kano and Borno, which do not have access to CNG for now.

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    He said over 600 buses were targeted for production in the first phase, which will be accomplished this year, while a new plant on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will assemble thousands of tricycles.

    The SKD parts manufactured by the Chinese company LUOJIA in partnership with its local partner to support the consortium of local suppliers of CNG tricycles are set for shipment to Nigeria and are expected to arrive early in May. About 2,500 of the tricycles will be ready before May 29, noted the official.

     

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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