Despite the issues, problems and challenges in developing Natural Gas Vehicles, (NGVs) in Nigeria, there are prospects of sustainable environmental and economic benefits for both Nigerians and the government.
The Managing Director, NIPICO Plc, Sanjay Teotia, stated this at Nigerian Gas Association 2017 Business Forum held in Lagos with a theme Current Challenges, the value & the future of natural gas as transportation.
Beside the environmental benefits from developing the Nigerian NGV industry will be a profitable proposition, he said NGVs in Nigeria have huge potential for creating jobs and a large market for gas, thereby providing alternatives to petrol usage and saving foreign exchange for the Nigerian government.
He therefore recommended that there should be clear strategic plan to increase the share of natural gas in the Nigerian fuel mix be put in place by the Government, adding that there should be strong regime commitment, liberal licensing regime for setting up CNG dispensing stations, investments in widespread availability of natural gas through a well established pipeline distribution network.
Government policies according to him should waive off custom duties on NGVs, subsidy to vehicle owners to convert their vehicles, introduce NGVs in public transportation system – taxi fleet, mass transit buses and Mandate use of NGVs in all depts of Local/State/Federal governments.
Mr. Teotia revealed that major vehicle manufacturers are bringing NGVs into the market . these he listed to include Light duty vehicles – Cars & SUVs
Honda; Suzuki; Audi; Toyota; GM; Ford; Hyundai; KIA; Fiat;
Volkswagen; Skoda; Mercedes Benz; Chrysler. Others are heavy duty vehicles Trucks & Buses; Volvo; Kenworth; Navistar; Peterbilt; Freightliner; Iveco; Mercedes Benz; Daewoo; Tata; Marcopolo; Ashok Leyland; Renault; Sino
The NIPCO boss maintained that there are huge potentials which should be seen as solution as Natural gas is clean, economical and domestic fuel resource , adding that NGV technology is available, proven & cost competitive.
He further stated that renewable natural gas provides a path to near zero carbon. Globally he said natural gas industry is increasing its focus and effort to support natural gas transportation. But policy and regulatory support is needed to create programs and incentives on par with those for other fuels.
“The need for an alternative vehicular fuel reduce dependence on imported oil Save valuable foreign exchange, reduce subsidy burden on FGN, better utilization of Nigeria’s own domestic gas, substantial reductions in emissions resulting in improved air quality of the city reduced health costs,” he said.
Still talking about Prospects and opportunitites, he said “Natural Gas Vehicles are better alternative as NGVs provides lot of prospects & opportunities for countries that have realized, hence the need for created awareness and made appropriate regulations for using natural gas as a vehicular fuel.”
Mr. Teotia stated that major potential for gas utilization in Nigeria lies in the vehicular market as economic situation is mainly driven by Fuel pricing and scarcity of petroleum products, while fuel pricing issue is driven by the “excessive subsidy” required by FGN to maintain availability of refined products.
Talking about the the benefits to the FGN, he said With 1 Million vehicles on natural gas, FGN will save foreign exchange of about USD 1.5 billion required in purchasing 4 billion litres of PMS annually. About USD 10 Million of foreign exchange was saved in Yr.2012 to 2016 by GGL.