May 29: Tinubu To Mark First Anniversary With 2,700 CNG Buses, Tricycles

May 29: Tinubu To Mark First Anniversary With 2,700 CNG Buses, Tricycles

As part of the Presidential CNG Initiative launched last October to provide cheaper, safer and more climate-friendly transportation, the Bola Tinubu administration will roll out the first batch of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles before its first anniversary on May 29.

Presidential spokesman, Bayo Onanuga, disclosed on Sunday that after months of planning, the Federal Government is set to deliver on Tinubu’s vision of transitioning Nigeria’s transportation sector to run on natural gas.

According to Onanuga, a total of 2,700 CNG buses and tricycles will hit Nigerian roads nationwide in the initial phase by May 29.

This is part of the N100bn provision in the N500bn palliative budget to procure 5,500 CNG vehicles and 20,000 conversion kits following the Federal Government’s removal of fuel subsidy on Tinubu’s assumption of office last year.

Onanuga revealed that the private sector has already committed over $50 million in investments towards CNG refueling stations, conversion centers and mother stations across the country.

He said tax and duty waivers approved by President Tinubu in December 2023 helped in facilitating these investments.

“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. They will also be available in key Nigerian cities and university campuses. It must be noted that soon to be completed gas pipeline projects initiated by the Buhari administration and being completed by NNPCL (the AKK Pipeline) will take gas into the hinterlands of North East and North West where there is current paucity.

“In all, over 600 buses are targeted for production in the first phase that will be accomplished this year,” said the presidential aide.

Onanuga added, “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 expected to arrive early in May. About 2,500 of the tricycles will be ready before May 29, 2024.

“Thousands of conversion kits for petrol powered buses and taxis that want to migrate to CNG are also ready with CNG cylinders. The Federal Government intends to provide them at subsidized rates, especially to commercial vehicle drivers to bring down the cost of public transportation.

“As part of private sector collaboration, NIPCO and BOVAS are involved in offering refilling services for the CNG vehicles and also serving as conversion centres. NIPCO is setting up 32 stations nationwide to offer the services. The company has completed the set up of four of the CNG stations. Likewise, BOVAS is setting up eight stations in Ibadan, two each in Ekiti, Abuja and four in Ilorin. MRS is also involved. It is making efforts to announce where its refilling stations and conversion centres will be.

“The NNPC Limited which had launched an on-and-off CNG initiative in the past is joining the new initiative. It is expected soon to announce the locations for CNG refilling and CNG conversion centres nationwide.”

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