Nigerian government to introduce alternative to petroleum gas

Suzan Ozo

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The Federal Government has revealed that plans are on the way towards providing an alternative to petrol in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva said this during his maiden official press briefing at the NNPC Towers.

Sylva further disclosed that the alternative would cost between N95 and N97 per litre and the CNG usage to power vehicles has been in use in Benin City where over 10,000 vehicles are already running on it.

According to the Minister: “What we have decided is that we should try and give the masses an alternative which will this be the CNG.

“This costs less than the subsidized rate of the PMS which is N145 per litre as the CNG will cost about N95 to N97 per litre.”

By this, Timipre Sylva summarised the resolve of the present Administration not to have Nigerians experience fuel scarcity again.

The Minister further said that the planned introduction of CNG as an alternative fuel would crash the cost of transportation and will play a vital role in eliminating the huge burden of subsidy payment.

In a related development, Sylva expressed hope to Nigerians that given the better working relationship between the Executive and the Legislature, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be passed by the National Assembly latest by May this year.

He also reiterated the fact that the Bill would not be taken in parts, rather, it would be passed in bulk and would have in it, the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, Administration and Host Community Bills as well as the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill respectively.

He added that the Federal government is considering two regulators: One for the Upstream and another for the Midstream and Downstream Sectors of the Petroleum industry.

He also revealed that after the passage of the PIB subject to the approval of Mr. President, government also plans to conduct bid rounds for new acreages in the Petroleum Industry.

On Refineries, the Minister of State disclosed that government is committed to the revamping of the refineries in the country.

Noting that when the refineries become fully functional, government intends to introduce the policy of “operate and manage” clause to the contract, for technology-owner experts to manage the refineries effectively and cut down on all unnecessary cost and bureaucracy that has been stalling the refineries.