Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, says the Federal Government will begin upgrading Nigerian cars and generators to operate on gas from October.
Sylva said that this would be achieved free of charge for all Nigerians to offset the impact of the fuel hike on the petrol price.
On Monday, the minister said this on NTA’s ‘Good Morning Nigeria’ which our reporter monitored.
Cars are capable, he says, of running on both gas and petrol.
The minister said the move would lower both carbon emissions and demand for Premium Motor Spirit better known as petrol.
Sylva stated, “The alternative we are now introducing is gas, which is definitely going to be cheaper than the subsidised rate of PMS. So, what we are trying to encourage Nigerians to do now is to convert their cars to dual fuel.
That ensures the car will use only gas or diesel, and it can be achieved free of charge, so the government can make sure you will upgrade the cars free of charge.
“And when you turn your vehicle for free, you go to the fuel station, you see the price of PMS (Premium Motor Spirit) you see the price of gas, you can opt to purchase LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) or CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), you can opt to purchase LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). All of these will be available and within October we will have a roll-out schedule for this.
They would have options for the Nigerians. It is like trying to impose a tax on the roads. When you add a tollgate, you are often supposed to build an option and are needed by statute. So, we ‘re also making an option so you can go buying petrol.
Sylva said the federal government launched a similar pilot scheme in Port Harcourt with commercial tricycles that they converted to gas and that was successful.
He said the initiative would be extended to colloquially known as small capacity generators as I better pass my neighbour.
The former Governor of Bayelsa State claimed that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s filling stations would be the first to start selling gas to vehicles.
Sylva said the use of gas is cleaner and climate friendly, adding that once this is achieved, Nigeria would receive funding from foreign donors.
He said, “We are going to convert ‘I better pass my neighbour’. So, you will have a situation where in your house, your gas cylinder will be connected to your generator and cooker. So, you don’t need any other fuel apart from gas to run your generators.
“It will become cheaper and cleaner. Of course, our carbon emissions will actually reduce and we are expecting to gain some money from climate change (sic) for reducing our carbon emission. This is going to be a policy direction that will create a lot of opportunities.”
He said all NNPC filling stations and even some marketers from the private sector had signed on to the project, adding that the scheme would begin in one region of the country and then extend to others.
When asked how the free initiative will help Nigeria, Sylva replied, “Your car should be in pretty good shape. That is the only condition to be met, so I don’t know how to convert if the car isn’t in a very good shape. We are already talking to the NURTW and they are very pleased, “the minister said.