Yemisi Izuora/Ijeoma Agudosi
NIPCO plc, is expanding its Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) initiative to provide alternative to petrol which supply has remained problematic over time.
The company through the Green Gas Ltd, a joint venture (JV) of Nipco and the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) has already converted over 4000 vehicles to use gas.
To ensure sustainable supply, the partners have opened over eight stations in the city of Benin,Edo state and Ibafo in Ogun state and plans to open more stations in due course.
Nipco MD Venkataraman Venkatapathy appealed that while the private sector firms are making huge investments in the midstream sub-sector, government should consider a phased downstream deregulation policy with an holistic approach so as not to hurt the average consumers.
Venkatapathy warned that sudden change in policy from regulated market to deregulated may be disastrous and inimical to the economy.
He explained that natural gas utilization could be exploited by encouraging use of CNG powered vehicles to reduce dependence on petrol and thus serve as ways of preparing grounds for deregulation of petrol.
“Wealthy people who could afford new cars that will be very easy to convert with little cost could be implored to convert.
Also the nation’s auto policy could be made to accommodate as a policy the making of cars using dual model of fueling to ensure that at the level of production or assembling gas is usable by motorist.
Along that the line petrol will be used also by other category of people till a period that gas powered cars will be in vogue thus reducing dependence on petrol” he advised.
Venkatapathy, said deregulation is good but the peculiar nature of Nigeria needs to be taken into consideration so that the larger majority of Nigerians will not suffer too much.
“Now is is the time to look critically into the area of natural gas utilisation to power vehicles” he said.