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After the removal of the wasteful fuel subsidy on May 29, 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu launched the Presidential CNG Initiative in October last year to deliver cheaper, safer and more climate friendly energy.  The CNG Initiative was designed to deliver compressed natural gas especially for mass transit.

The Federal Government as part of the many intervention programmes to reduce the burden of increase in pump price on the masses, provided N100 billion (part of the N500 billion palliative budget) to purchase 5500 CNG vehicles (buses and tricycles), 100 Electric buses and over 20,000  CNG conversion kits, alongside spurring  the development of CNG refilling stations and electric charging stations.

After months of detailed planning and background work, the committee driving the initiative is set to deliver on President Tinubu’s vision and promise.

Already, the committee, being led by Michael Oluwagbemi, an oil and gas expert,  has delivered some major foundational reforms to enable the new CNG and Electric Vehicles future the President promised. All is  now ready for delivery of the first set of critical assets for deployment and launch of the CNG initiative ahead of the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration on May 29.

With necessary tax and duty waivers approved by President Tinubu in December 2023, the PCNGI committee is partnering with the private sector to deliver the promise on the initiative. The private sector  has responded with over $50 million in actual investments in refuelling stations, conversion centres, and mother stations. 

Also, a safety policy document on 80 standards and regulations that must be strictly adhered to by operators has been  developed and approved to ensure CNG conversions are done safely and reliably.


The deployment of CNG buses and tricycles and the vision to get at least one million natural gas propelled vehicles on our roads by 2027 will mark a major energy transition in our country’s transportation industry. The use of more expensive diesel and PMS will gradually be phased out, when many vehicles, including trucks run on natural gas, which our nation has in abundance in at least 30 out of the 36 states of the federation.

As studies have shown, one of the main causes of air pollution is primarily the amount of gases emitted by gasoline and diesel engines. To reduce the pollution, some countries of the world, such as India, China, Iran, Pakistan, Brazil , Argentina, Italy have built fleets of natural gas powered vehicles, instead of going the route of relying on liquid petroleum products propelled vehicles. Natural gas vehicles reduce tail pipe emission by up to 40 percent, and Nigeria’s commitment to this course will enable her meet her nationally determined commitments (NDCs) under Paris Climate Accord to which we are signatory.

From the end of May,  Nigeria will take some baby steps to join such nations that already have large fleets of CNG vehicles.

Remarkably, the Tinubu administration, in driving the nation to the desired destination, has flagged open a new industry, along with thousands of new jobs.

Four plants owned by JET, Mikano, Mojo, and Brilliant EV located in various parts of the country are involved in the assembly of the Semi Knocked Down (SKD) components of the CNG buses. JET, which has received the SKD parts is coupling the buses in Lagos and is working towards delivering 200 units before the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration.

Brilliant EV will assemble electric vehicles. It is awaiting the SKD parts, which will arrive in due course. The electric vehicles it will produce are meant for states such as Kano and Borno, which do not have access to CNG for now. They will also be available in key Nigerian cities and university campuses. It must be noted that soon to be completed gas pipeline projects initiated by the Buhari administration and being completed by NNPCL (the AKK Pipeline) will take gas into the hinterlands of North East and North West where there is current paucity. 

In all, over 600 buses are targeted for production in the first phase that will be accomplished this year. 

A new plant on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will assemble thousands of tricycles. The SKD parts manufactured by the Chinese company LUOJIA in partnership with its local partner to support the consortium of local suppliers of CNG tricycles  are set for shipment to Nigeria and expected to arrive early in May. About 2,500 of the tricycles will be ready before May 29, 2024.

Thousands of conversion kits for petrol powered buses and taxis that want to migrate to CNG are also ready with CNG cylinders. The Federal Government intends to provide them at subsidized rates, especially to commercial vehicle drivers to bring down the cost of public transportation.

As part of private sector collaboration, NIPCO and BOVAS are involved in offering refilling services for the CNG vehicles  and also serving as conversion centres. NIPCO is setting up 32 stations nationwide to offer the services. The company has completed the set up of four of the CNG stations. Likewise, BOVAS is setting up eight stations in Ibadan, two each in Ekiti, Abuja and four in Ilorin. MRS is also involved. It is making efforts to announce where its refilling stations and conversion centres will be.

The NNPC Limited which had launched an on-and-off  CNG initiative in the past is joining the new initiative.  It is expected soon to announce the locations for CNG refilling and CNG conversion centres nationwide.

In addition, the PCNGI is working with 22 other agency partners, including the Standards Organisation of Nigeria(SON) and Nigeria Automotive Design and Development Council to deliver 80 Natural Gas Vehicle Conversion and Associated Appliances Standards for the country.

For proper monitoring, PCNGI will also launch  MYCNG.NG App. The app will embed the Nigeria Gas Vehicle Monitoring Systems, which will show CNG conversion and refuelling sites in the country. 

The Tinubu administration is an enabler of the evolving CNG industry.  In collaboration with the private sector, the PCNGI is set to deliver 100 conversion workshops and 60 refuelling sites spread across 18 states before the end of this year. 

The vision of Mr. President to deliver one million gas vehicles cannot be possible without the private sector, including the RTEAN, NARTO, NURTW, and  players in the downstream sector of the transportation chain and financiers. 

Bayo Onanuga 

Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy 

April 21, 2024


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