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Nigeria mulls alternative fuel as petrol fades

Nigeria has finally got round to accepting the fact that she needs to start looking at alternative fuel sources with the federal government inaugurating an Autogas and Natural Gas Vehicles Committee to draw up clean energy guidelines.

Before now, Nigeria has been reluctant to embrace the clean energy revolution sweeping across the world.

Being an oil-producer, Nigerian officials have shunned the need to electric and gas-powered cars believing it will affect crude oil sales, ignoring the fact that many automobile manufacturers are phasing out the production of petrol cars.

Last year, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, the then lawmaker representing Bayelsa East Senatorial District, sponsored an Electric Car Bill that would have encouraged the use of electricity-powered cars.

However, the bill was defeated by senators who appeared not to appreciate the global drive towards clean energy.

In what appears to be a gradual appreciation of the fact that crude oil and petrol are no longer fashionable as they are seen as environmentally unfriendly, the federal government has agreed to look at the adoption of gas as an alternative fuel for vehicles in Nigeria.

Under the proposals being considered, autogas vehicles would be powered by liquefied petroleum gas, while those grouped as natural gas vehicles would use compressed natural gas as alternative fuel.

These were contained in a document put together during a meeting between the Committee of the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) and stakeholders in the oil and gas industry. In January 2020, the NGEP was inaugurated by the minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva to boost the domestic utilisation of natural gas in the short and medium term.

It was charged with reinforcing and expand domestic gas supply to stimulate demand through an efficient and effective mobilisation and utilisation of all available assets, resources and infrastructure. Committee chairman Mohammed Ibrahim, said the gas expansion programme committee met with major fuel station owners in Abuja to discuss modalities regarding the building of dispensing facilities in their stations.

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