Govt. plans 5,000 CNG tricycles rollout in three months- Presidency

 As the Federal Government steps its Compressed Natural Gas adoption in the country, the Presidential CNG Initiative says plans have been concluded to roll out 5,000 CNG-powered tricycles over the next three months.

The Programme Director and Chief Executive, P-CNGi, Michael Oluwagbemi, said this on Thursday at the inauguration of the Luojia Tricycle Assembly plant in Ogun State.

The government has continued to galvanise resources towards a mass adoption of CNG in the country.

Oluwagbemi said government had introduced several incentives, including Value Added Tax exemptions and Custom duty waivers for CNG-powered tricycles and other vehicles entering the country.

The government, he said, had also mandated all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to purchase only CNG-powered vehicles moving forward.

 The, move, according to programme director, will drive the adoption of cleaner energy solutions across the country.

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority is providing CNG at a concessionary price, offering more than a 40 per cent discount on the current price.

“The 5,000 tricycles form part of the initial units acquired by the government under the Presidential CNG Initiative, which aims to enhance affordable and eco-friendly transportation across Nigeria and to mitigate the impact of fuel subsidy removal,” Oluwagbemi said.

According to the P-CNGi chief executive, the new Luojia assembly plant will help create jobs and boost economic growth.

 “It will generate at least 60 direct jobs and over 6,000 indirect jobs. This collaboration with the private sector in implementing this initiative would boost economic growth and increase tax revenue for the government,” he said.

Oluwagbemi said the government was working with tricycle organisations to identify potential beneficiaries under a loan scheme.

He said, “We are also developing a convenient payment plan for these individuals. Additionally, conversion kits will be made available at discounted prices to enable people to convert their existing vehicles to CNG. The government is engaging with various stakeholders to increase the number and capacity of these refilling plants nationwide,” he added. This is even as he urged Nigerians, in line with President Bola Tinubu’s promises, to embrace and adopt CNG as Nigeria’s future for cleaner energy.

Also commenting, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, TGIS, Mr. Damilola Agboola, “the removal of fuel subsidy and the introduction of CNG by president Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a paradigm shift and the paradigm shift presents an opportunity in which Luojia has come to Nigeria.”

Commenting on the potential of the facility, the Manager, Luojia assembly plant, Gabriel Idowu, said, “The plant has the capacity to assemble 120 tricycles daily and over 30,000 in a year as it ramps up its capacity with time.”

“We are also making plans to ramp up our capacity in terms of numbers. We have expatriates who will be coming in from China to train our team on the ground. We are also open to collaborating with individuals who have hands-on experience in the field.”

Meanwhile, CNG programme directo, Oluwagbemi noted that the programme would enhance job creation.

“Mr. President sees the CNG programme as an opportunity to create opportunities. We needed to catalyse job creation opportunity. When job is created government can collect taxes. You cannot have tax revenue when businesses are lost. Businesses pay taxes on profits.Our main goal is to see that businesses flourish,” he said.

 “The assembly plant has the capacity to employ 40 Nigerians with the capacity to increase to 300. These are people that will be rolling out 120 tricycles every day. While they are doing it, they will come up with new innovation on how they can do it better. In four to five years, time they will come up with their own design such that we would be launching the Nigeria version of the tricycle here.

A former Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Dr. Kayode Opeifa, explained that the adoption of CNG tricycle meant cheaper transportation, saying, “It is energy security for Nigeria, apart from the fact that CNG is cheaper the cost of transport will come down and inflation will come down,” he said.