The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged the Federal Government to intensify strategies on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) penetration in Nigeria. It stated that it was imperative for FG to escalate CNG usage as soon as it can. National Operations Controller, IPMAN, Mr Mike Osatuyi, in an interview with New Telegraph over the weekend, said CNG could play a great role in mitigating the current high cost of Premium Motor Spirit, (PMS) otherwise called petrol. He noted that since President Bola Tinubu has fully deregulated the downstream sector or remove subsidy on petrol, many Nigerians and businesses have been going through hardship.
According to him, CNG is cheaper, such that it can be half the price of petrol. Nigeria has the 9th largest gas re- serves globally with about 209.5 trillion cubic feet(tcf) of proven gas reserves, according to the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regula- tory Authority (NMDPRA). The Federal Government estimated the value of Nigeria’s gas reserves to be over $803.4 trillion. Osatuyi said gas should be convert- ed to optimal usage, more so, with the high cost of petrol and the attendant economic challenges. Osatuyi said: “Nigeria is the No. 9 biggest gas reservoir globally. Russia, Kuwait, the USA, and Qatar are other gas countries. “We have gas that can last us for 500 years in this country. Nigeria has about 209.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas. But this gas has not been utilised. Some of it has been flared. We do not have any problem with supply. We have more than enough gas for local supply and even for import. “Because of vested interests in subsidy, gas has not been fully exploited and harnessed.
The Federal Government launched the Nigerian gas flare commercialisation programme (NG- FCP) and the National Gas Expansion Programme, but some people did not allow them to succeed as such because of interest.” He urged the FG to deploy kits for CNG sales to petrol stations owned by IPMAN, the Major Oil Marketers As- sociation of Nigeria,(MOMAN) and the Depot and Petroleum Products Market- ers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) to increase access to CNG for Nigerians. He suggested that the government should provide free interest or single- digit interest loans to oil marketers to install CNG sales facilities. He also called on the government to subsidise the cost of conversion from petrol equipment and automobiles to CNG usable automobiles, and other fa- cilities for Nigerians.
He suggested that the government could do this by building in the loan and the cost of conversions in the price of the CNG. He stated that this model would lead to a marginal increase in the actual price of CNG and ensure that the gov- ernment recoup the loans and conversion costs without the consumers or Nigerians feeling the impact. Osatuyi said: “We have a lot of gas in this country. Let the FG deploy all the CNG kits into IPMAN, MOMAN, and DAPPMAN stations. We will be selling CNG to vehicles as if we are selling fuel to cars or selling gas to cylinders through the nozzle. “It will be very easy. In fact, it will be half the price of petrol. Some people have even started convert- ing petrol generators to gas gen- erators at a very cheap price. This will cost half of a litre of petrol and will cover the same distance for a litre of petrol.
“That is why President Tinubu said they should implement CNG as an option to petrol. We support it. We have been clamouring for it for some years. But because of the interest in the subsidy re- gime, that is why not much was achieved. “Petrol subsidy was removed in Nigeria and people in Cameroon and some other neighbouring countries are crying. It is not surprising.” He added: “The FG should pro- vide soft loans to the marketers to get facilities that will be used for CNG sales into our stations. Gov- ernment can give a single-digit fa- cility that is payable over the years so that we can install the kits in our stations. We will get trucks to move the CNG to our station and within a few years, we pay off.
“Govenrment should also help Nigerians by subsidising the conversion cost. There are many models that can be used. One of them was used in Indonesia and Bangladesh. “The govenrment can put the cost of the conversion and the kits in the cost of the CNG, which will be very marginal. For instance, if 1kg of CNG is N50, the government can make the cost to be N50.100; 1k will be for the recovery of the loan and within a few years, the total money will be paid off. The 1k will be transferred for the repayment of the loan and consumers will not even know and feel it. The burden will not be on people.”