By Emmanuella Anokam
The Independent Petroleum Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has endorsed the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative energy source to cushion the effect of subsidy removal.
IPMAN National President, Elder Chinedu Okorokwo made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Abuja on Wednesday.
NAN repoty that President Bola Tinubu had on May 29 in his inaugural speech said subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as fuel had ended with the commencement of his administration.
In view of the high increase in fuel pump price, transportation and food stuff among others due to the subsidy removal, the Federal Government entered into deliberations with the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress.
The meeting agreed on the adoption of CNG as an alternative fuel which it said would bring a better and long lasting solution to the constant fluctuation in the price of petrol in the global market.
The meeting also agreed to revive the CNG conversion programme earlier agreed with Labour centres in 2021 and work out detailed implementation and timing.
CNG, which is a gas mainly composed of methane and produces less emission, is the cleanest burning fuel operating today with less vehicle maintenance and longer engine life.
Okoronkwo, who had supported the removal of subsidy and usage of CNG said bringing CNG which was cheaper than even firewood as an alternative energy would create relief for the government and its citizens.
He said removal of subsidy was necessary because of the preferential for dollar which was so hard, adding that there was no crude refining in Nigeria, rather we produced.
“We have also discovered that by bringing an alternative that is cheaper than even firewood which is CNG will not only create relief for the government and its citizens but it is environmentally friendly.
“ The CNG is abundantly available in Nigeria than anywhere in Africa.
“In Niger-Delta region you see billions of tonnes of gas flare being wasted daily, these are huge amounts that should be accruing to our GDP but we are wasting it because there is no market for it.
“So we are asking the government to create the market. How do you create the market?
“What Egypt and India did was to give soft loans to be paid back within stipulated periods from there you can get vehicles to use gas instead of fuel,” he said.
The president explained that CNG is the energy for transmission and the way to go, adding that Nigeria should emulate something that is working.
“There’s a franchise for the bottling of CNG so that an average woman in the kitchen can use it,’’ he said.
He said introduction of CNG would cushion the effect occasioned by the high price of fuel currently as a litre of CNG would not cost more than N130 and could be less.
He advised that repairing the local refineries as well would reduce the impact of the removal as it would eliminate the cost of importation and exportation.
According to him, if government should facilitate the usage of CNG, afforestation will be stopped while cleaner environment promoted.