Nigeria is banking on automobiles powered by gas to support its partial shift from gasoline as a major vehicular energy source and bolster climate-friendly living after government scrapped a costly subsidy system that has devoured a chunk of its revenue for years on end.
Fuel prices are hitting record highs following the termination of the subsidies and labour associations are planning a strike for 28th September.
After the oil crash precipitated a depletion of revenues by 60%, President Muhammadu Buhari said there was departing from the decision.
With a N250 billion stimulus package under the National Gas Expansion Program, Nigeria is staking out hope that the embrace of gas as an option to vehicles powered by petrol will be large-scale, the Central Bank of Nigeria said.
The fund can be accessed by investors for a duration of 10 years at an interest rate ceiling of 5% running till next February after which it will be 9%.
The grand ambition requires mobilising buses and trucks in their number to run on the cleaner fuel via partnership with investors develop facilities including pipelines and filling stations on thoroughfares across Nigeria.
Energy retailers such as Nipco Plc and Sagas Energy Limited are numbered among the firms that have entered the deal.
The proven gas reserves of Africa’s biggest oil producer towers above 200 trillion cubic feet, 8 billion of which is locally exploited daily, with the larger part of this coming as liquefied natural gas for export.
A dearth of distribution infrastructures has suppressed utilisation within Nigeria and an avalanche of its gas resources is simply flared or pumped back into oil wells.
For nearly two years now, Nipco has fitted over 5000 cars with conversion kits that make them gas-enabled for use in Benin City and now plans to replicate this model in the rest of the country and tap the unexplored wealth offered by millions of cars on Nigerian roads.