A paradigm shift in Nigeria's energy landscape is on the horizon as the Federal Government unveils a robust plan to establish 9,000 Autogas filling stations across the nation within the next six months. This monumental undertaking, spearheaded by the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP), aims to breathe new life into the economy by harnessing the country's vast natural gas resources.
Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, the Chairman of NGEP, revealed this groundbreaking initiative during the Annual Training Workshop of the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) in Lagos. Undeterred by challenges posed by subsidy stakeholders and skepticism surrounding the feasibility of the gas expansion program, Dr. Ibrahim emphasized that the NGEP has made remarkable strides in leveraging the nation's gas potential to invigorate economic growth.
As part of this visionary plan, a staggering N250 billion NGEP fund has been held dormant in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the past four years due to stringent conditions. The NGEP, envisioned as a catalyst for maximizing Nigeria's abundant natural gas reserves, holds the potential to reshape the nation's energy landscape and drive job creation.
Dr. Ibrahim asserted that the transition to gas-powered vehicles presents myriad benefits, both financial and environmental. With the removal of fuel subsidies, gas emerges as a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative. The promise of generating 100 million jobs, as pledged by the Tinubu-led administration, is not a distant dream but an attainable reality through the gas expansion initiative.
The multi-fuel scheme at the heart of this program will allow vehicle owners to choose between Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), and conventional premium motor spirit. This revolutionary concept seeks to convert over 5 million vehicles to CNG or LNG, generating a staggering 12.5 million jobs. Dr. Ibrahim underscored the transformative potential of Autogas to "reflate the economy if it is properly done."
The NGEP envisions a multi-fuel retail landscape where existing petrol stations will be retrofitted to accommodate LNG, CNG, and electric vehicle charging facilities. This seamless integration will provide drivers with diverse refueling options for various travel needs, ranging from long hauls to short commutes. Dr. Ibrahim clarified that the N250 billion NGEP fund has remained untapped due to the stringent conditions set by the CBN, emphasizing the need for more accessible terms to facilitate participation within the Autogas value chain.
Source: Daily Trust.