The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, has urged the Federal Government to provide loans for vehicle owners in the country to convert petrol to compressed natural gas, CNG usage.
The Association made the call through its partner in compressed natural gas, Mr Brian Amonu, when it appeared before the house of Representatives adhoc committee set up to investigate the recent hike in petrol pump price.
Mr Amonu stated that if the government transition to just ten percent of the forty eight million litres of fuel consumed daily in the country to natural gas, it would save Nigerians two billion naira daily or 730 billion naira annually.
This according to him means that natural gas can be delivered through IPMAN platforms at two hundred naira per liter to the farthest part of the country.
He stated that transition to CNG is the only solution to the situation caused by the removal of fuel subsidy.
“Today trying to raise money to build new refineries is almost impossible. The US government and the international development finance institutions would not give you money to invest in anything crude oil, because they consider it to be dirty fuel.
“However, attracting investment to develop the domestic gas is another question. The gas that we are flaring today in Niger Delta is not only affecting the health and environment of Nigerians, it’s threatening them in Paris, it’s affecting the climate in Tokyo. So when you approach the international investment community to raise funding to provide natural gas base transportation, it is an easier conversation to have than crude oil.
Amonu added that the solution to relieve Nigerians from the high cost of Petrol lies in the Central Bank of Nigeria, saying it has a 250 billion naira gas expansion facility to support the utilisation of natural gas.
The National President of IPMAN, Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, explained that international prices and other factors are what caused the recent hike since the country has no functional refinery.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr Babajimi Benson, observed that Nigerians spend eighty percent of their income on food alone, saying the recent hike in fuel price could further push Nigerians deeper below the poverty line.
He however commended IPMANS suggestion of transmission from petrol to natural gas.
The committee also invited other relevant stakeholders like the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited and the CBN to appear before it.
Oduyemi Odumade, Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Kevin Nwabueze