FG, Lagos, Niger States Procure 7,700 CNG-powered Buses To Ease Fuel Subsidy Removal Impact

CNG-powered Buses

The Federal Government and two states of the federation; Lagos and Niger states have launched plans to procure no fewer than 7,700 Compressed Natural Gas-powered mass transit buses to cushion the impacts of fuel subsidy removal in the country.

An investigation carried out by PUNCH revealed that the Federal Government had planned to procure 5,500 CNG buses and tricycles, while both Lagos and Niger states had provided plans for 2,000 and 200 gas-powered buses respectively to ease the cost of transportation in their states.

The Presidency had said that the Federal Government kick-started its CNG initiative in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Wednesday, May 29, as part of plans to commemorate the first anniversary of President Bola Tinubu.

The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr Bayo Onanuga, who disclosed this, said the state governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazak, launched the refuelling and conversion centre for the programme and unveiled the Federal Government CNG buses and tricycles in Ilorin.

He said, “There was a launch in Ilorin Kwara State today (Wednesday) by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak. The Ilorin launch was a refuelling and conversion centre.

“CNG buses and tricycles were also unveiled. The CNG vehicle assemblers have begun the rollout, beginning from Ilorin.

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“The inauguration began today in Ilorin. It started with a conversion centre before they unveiled some CNG buses and tricycles. They have not given a date for Abuja. But the process started today,” Onanuga stated.

Recall that the presidential aide had in a statement issued on April 21, 2024, said the Federal Government was ready to launch about 2,700 CNG-powered buses and tricycles before May 29, 2024, when President Tinubu turned one year in office.

In the statement titled, ‘Presidential CNG initiative set for rollout’, Onanuga said the Federal Government would deliver 100 conversion workshops and 60 refuelling sites spread across 18 states before the end of 2024.

He said the Federal Government was targeting the purchase of “5,500 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”.

With necessary tax and duty waivers approved by President Tinubu in December 2023, Onanuga said, “The PCNGI Committee is partnering with the private sector to deliver the promise on the initiative.

“The private sector has responded with over $50m in actual investments in refueling stations, conversion centres, and mother stations. In all, over 600 buses are targeted for production in the first phase which will be accomplished this year.

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“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 are expected to arrive early in May. About 2,500 of the tricycles will be ready before May 29, 2024,” Onanuga said in the statement.

Similarly, the Lagos State Government announced in April that 2,000 Compressed Natural Gas buses would be rolled out in the state before the end of 2024.

The state Commissioner for Transportation, Oluwaseun Osiyemi, made this known at the commencement of the 2024 ministerial briefing in the state last month.

Meanwhile, the Niger State Governor, Umar Bago, on Wednesday launched 200 CNG-powered buses to ease the cost of transportation in the state as part of plans to commemorate his one year in office.

While inaugurating the buses in Minna, the state capital, the governor ordered that students be exempted from paying transport fares whenever they board the new buses, while civil servants and security agencies were to pay half of the fares.

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