As Kwara state leads in CNG, electric vehicles conversion initiative..,

Kwara state has taken a leading position in queing behind the CNG conversion initiative of the governnent. UMAR BAYO reports on how this was unveiled during the fifth year anniversary celebration of the current administration in the state recently and the economic potentials to be explored by the people.

A major success showcased by the administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to mark the fifth year anniversary of his administration on May 29 was the inauguration of the first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) conversion workshop, refuelling station and a training centre in the entire North-central zone, Ilorin, the Kwara state capital. 

For a start, the government successfully converted 20 government vehicles to CNG to test-run the initiative.  

This is coming less than a year after the state celebrated a similar feat with the conversion of petrol vehicles to the one powered by electricity by a team of engineers at the Centre for Sustainable Energy of Kwara State University, (KWASU) in Malete.

Enumerating the benefits

Speaking during the launch of the Rolling Energy CNG station located at the Post Office area Ilorin, the governor assured that the initiative is safer and cheaper than other automobiles run on petrol.

“What we are witnessing today is the beginning of the new future marking our new lifestyle. This is the direct benefit of oil subsidy removal by President Bola Tinubu. Between last year and now, the president has given backing to natural gas over petrol.

“We have converted 20 government vehicles to CNG for test-drive and we shall convert all in a few month from now,” he said.

Apart from the listed automobile benefits, AbdulRazaq said that the exercise would create more jobs, especially for the youth while allaying the fears of the residents, saying that the conversion was safer and cheaper.

The programme director of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative, (PCNGI), Michael Oluwagbemiga commended Governor Abdulrazaq for supporting the presidential initiative right from the outset and for his understanding of the benefits of the adoption of gas.

Oluwagbemiga also urged Nigerians to embrace the future as he commended President Tinubu for his foresight and determination to take the country several miles into the future.

The  chief executive officer of Rolling Energy, Mubarak Danbata, enjoined all to embrace the initiative which he described as the in-thing.

“I am free to announce our readiness for President Tinubu’s decision to reduce our dependence on petrol.

“We are poised to join the government to increase resilience to provide reliable services to the state,” he said.

He therefore went further to say that the station was capable of converting six petrol-powered vehicles to CNG-powered daily.

“President Tinubu’s initiative reflects our joint commitment to lifting the nation from where it is presently to where we can be at par with global standard practice. This is a sufficient energy future collaboration and it is all about securing a new future for the generation yet to be born,” he said.

Kwara varsity breakthrough 

Prior to the inauguration of the CNG plant, the engineering team at the Centre for Sustainable Energy of the Kwara State University, (KWASU) Malete had recorded a similar breakthrough with the convertion a petrol engine vehicle to one powered by electricity.

This was disclosed by the acting vice chancellor of the university, Professor Shaykh-Luqman Jimoh while addressing journalists at the main campus of the institution in Malete, Moro local government area of the state. This was at a press conference that heralded the combined 10th and 11th convocation ceremony for 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic sessions.

He said that the achievement came on the heels of the removal of the petrol subsidy and the resultant PMS price increase.

“With this success, the institution has been placed in the lead of rethinking her environmental culture and developing new paradigms for solving problems and ensuring global environmental sustainability.

“We consider it a major achievement, not just for our green initiative but for our determination to add value to the state’s economy and her populace.

“This initiative ensures higher efficiency in powering automobiles, helps our environment to be less polluted and has attracted partnerships with the Kwara state government and private institutions,” he said.

Prof Jimoh, who said that three vehicles, namely a Sedan, Hilux and 22-seater Coaster bus, had been converted to electricity-powered vehicles, added that investors had started to show interest in the product.

He therefore called on the state government and individuals with scrap vehicles to bring them for conversion at moderate charges.

FG lists benefits of CNG 

On what Nigerians and the country stands to benefit from this new initiative, the federal government said Nigeria is going to reduce the importation of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol by about $4.4bn annually through the adoption and use of Compressed Natural Gas.

The coordinator, regulations, compliance and facilitation, (PCNGI), Zayyan Tambari said Compressed Natural Gas Initiative announced this during a presentation at the Co-Creation Session on Nigeria Gas Vehicle Monitoring System in Abuja, 

He said that the target of government was to convert one million diesel and petrol-powered vehicles to start running on CNG.

This, according to the Tambari, would save the country about $4.4bn annually on the importation of PMS into Nigeria.

He also revealed that the target of the federal government is to replace 20 per cent of the current 50 million litres of petrol consumed daily across the country with CNG.

Also at the event, the minister of state for petroleum resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, who was represented by Abel Nsa, said the government would ensure that Nigeria reaps the full benefits of its gas resources.

“We are at the point where we need to begin to talk about the safety issues in the use of CNG. We have got to educate ourselves and we have got to use specific tools and materials hitherto that we have not been using,” he said.

With these two initiatives experts are hoping that the government would provide the needed support for this initiatives to thrive while hoping that investors would explore the benefits therein  to boost the the economy of the state.