- Moves To Reduce The Shock Of Fuel Price Hike On Nigerians
- Says Plan Will Be Unveiled Next Month
- Targets FDI, Donor Agencies
- Makes Case For Eco-friendly Energy Sources
The federal government is set to reduce the consumption of Premium Motor Spirit–PMS (petrol) in the country by rolling out a mass conversion plan that would see many cars and generators currently running on petrol converted and become gas-powered.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and a former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, while speaking on NTA’s ‘Good Morning Nigeria’ programme, Monday, said the initiative was part of efforts by the current administration to cushion the effect of the hike in pump price of petrol on Nigerians.
Sylva said the conversion expected to start in October, will enable Nigerians convert their cars and generators free of charge to run on gas.
According to him, the move would not only reduce carbon emissions and address climate change concerns in the country, but it will also reduce the demand for petrol by Nigerians.
Sylva added that it will come at a cheaper cost as against running on petrol, noting that cars are capable of running on both gas and petrol.
The New Diplomat understands that converting a car or generator to Autogas involves installing a secondary fuel system in your engine with a separate tank and gauge for the Autogas fuel.
The car for instance, maintains the primary fuel system and will now be a dual-fuel vehicle, allowing you to switch between the two systems quickly and easily. In some cases, the primary fuel system can be done away with to run only on gas.
According to the former Bayelsa state governor, the federal government has been successful with the launching of a pilot scheme of the conversion with commercial tricycles in Port Harcourt, by helping them to convert to gas.
The Minister said the initiative will start with filling stations owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which will serve as conversion centres and where the gas would first be sold to vehicles and generators, including small capacity generators popularly known in Nigeria as ‘I better pass my neighbour.’
The sole condition to be given to would-be beneficiaries according to Sylva is “Your car should be in a fairly good condition. That is the only condition to be met because if your car is not in a very good condition, I don’t know how it is going to convert. We are already in discussion with the NURTW and they are already very happy.”
He said all NNPC filling stations and also some private sector marketers had signed on to the initiative, adding that the scheme would start in one part of the country and then spread to others.
In Sylva’s words: “The alternative we are now introducing is gas, which is definitely going to be cheaper than the subsidised rate of PMS. So, what we are trying to encourage Nigerians to do now is to convert their cars to dual fuel.
“That means your car can use either gas or petrol and that will be done for free because the government is going to ensure that you are able to convert your vehicles for free.
“And when you convert your car for free, you go to the filling station, you see the price of PMS (Premium Motor Spirit) you see the price of gas, you can decide to buy LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) or CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), you can decide to buy LNG (Liquefied Natural gas). These are all going to be available and we are going to have a roll out plan for this within October.
“Nigerians will have alternatives. It is like introducing a toll on the roads. When you introduce a tollgate, you are expected and required by law to also create an alternative. So, we are also creating that alternative so that you can go to buy gas.
“We are going to convert ‘I better pass my neighbour’. So, you will have a situation where in your house, your gas cylinder will be connected to your generator and cooker. So, you don’t need any other fuel apart from gas to run your generators.
“It will become cheaper and cleaner. Of course, our carbon emissions will actually reduce and we are expecting to gain some money from climate change (sic) for reducing our carbon emission. This is going to be a policy direction that will create a lot of opportunities,” Sylva explained.
The Minister said the use of gas to power automobiles and generators is cleaner, eco-friendly, and would attract new investments and funding from foreign donor agencies for the country as the world continues to look in the direction of going green to combat the existential climate crisis.