THE national president of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Chinedu Okoronkwo, says the association is 90 per cent ready to roll out compressed natural gas (CNG) at the cost of about N100 to N110 per litre before the end of June.
Okoronkwo said this on Channels Television’s Business Morning programme on Monday, June 12, stressing that CNG has come to serve as an alternative to petrol.
The ICIR reports that the pump price of petrol has recently surged from about N185 to N550 per litre following President Bola Tinubu’s resolve to stop paying for fuel subsidy.
That removal has resulted in a hike in transportation fares, cost of fuelling vehicles generally, and gradual increase in living costs.
Okoronkwo, exuding confidence that CNG would help bring down the cost of energy in the country, said, “Very soon, we will roll out. We are 90 per cent close to that, and that will also unveil many possibilities.”
He noted that fuel subsidy removal had reduced the speed with which Nigeria could have gotten another energy mix
“IPMAN has brought relief to a lot of families. We have got the usage of our natural energy, CNG, to power vehicles, generators, and even cooking,” the IPMAN president said.
The CNG is expected to reduce, to a large extent, the country’s exposure to fuel importation as natural gas would not be imported.
According to a report by PwC on Evaluating Nigeria’s Gas Value Chain, the country has 202 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of untapped proven gas reserves, and an estimated recoverable gas at 139.4 tcf.
Okoronkwo claimed that CNG-powered cars had started gaining momentum in the country because of increased awareness about its efficiency and affordability, compared to traditional fuels like diesel and petrol.
“If the government buys into what we are saying, it will act as an assistance, bring relief, and create job opportunities.
“What we need the government to do is create the market. The demand is there,” the IPMAN president said.
He added that IPMAN had gotten a lot of buy-in from companies overseas.
On what the CNG brings to the value-chain, he said, “I don’t know if you have seen what is trending this week where people with their I-pass-my- neighbour generators are beginning to use liquified petroleum gas. LPG is close to N700 per kilogramme, but this natural gas we are talking about is under N100 to N110.
“When you check what the impact will be, it will reduce the cost of food because people coming from the hinterlands bring food to the cities. From Kano, it takes them about N1.2 million to fuel trucks with diesel, but with this CNG, it will cost them about N150,000 to N200,000. About a million naira is saved that will translate to cheaper food and open up a lot of other businesses.
“It will provide cheaper energy to drive the processing zones like the agro-based industries, where the gas will also create a lot of impact.
“CNG does not replace PMS, but it is a choice. We are talking of something that will help your purse and not deepen it.”
The Director of Gas Analytics and Solutions Limited, Shuaibu Bello, who also spoke at the Channels Television programme, said the CNG would be a game-changer for Nigerians.
“This is the best palliative you can give the nation. If you talk of palliative, it is not just sharing money with people, it is creating a system that will reach the rich and the poor.
“If you compare CNG price at N110 per litre with petrol now at N540 or its former price of N185, still you will have a reduction,” he said.
IPMAN had in April 2023 approached the Finance ministry to request that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) be mandated to release N250 billion intervention fund for the implementation of the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP).
IPMAN explained it asked for the fund to provide access to the Gas Expansion Fund for vehicle, commercial tricycle and truck owners to access loans to finance the acquisition of natural gas conversion kits.
At the time, IPMAN said that it had partnered with Gas Analytics & Solutions Limited to co-locate natural gas dispensers on their network of over 30,000 filling stations in Nigeria.
According to IPMAN, it controls over 80 per cent of the downstream oil sector, and as such, the collocation model would help to reduce the exposure in building new filling stations.