The Association of Taxi unions operating in the Federal Capital Territory has announced that they will be meeting today with members of different unions to discuss integrating Compressed Natural Gas vehicles into the transport system.

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The unions represented by the President of Painted Abuja Taxis, Shehu Shugaba, disclosed this to Saturday PUNCH in a telephone chat on Friday.

Shugaba noted that while the government had not officially communicated the plan to the unions, awareness was growing.

“We want to have a meeting with all the unions tomorrow and meet with the government. We do not know whether they are going to give it to us or we are going to purchase it. But we will hold a meeting tomorrow and get back to you on the matter,” Shugaba said.

The National President of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Musa Mohammed, expressed his commitment to the CNG initiative before the government initiated it.

He stated that he had acquired 2,500 dual-fuel vehicles capable of running on both fossil fuel and gas.

“I have launched my own CNG vehicles. I am the first person who launched 2,500 CNG vehicles. And I have been using my CNG vehicles since then. My vehicles are dual vehicles. It can either use fuel or gas.

“I cannot get involved with the new initiative by purchasing more CNG vehicles,” Mohammed remarked.

Also, the spokesperson for the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Segun Falade, told Saturday PUNCH that the union was actively involved in the CNG plan.

“The initial proposition by the government was to provide 2,700 buses and tricycles nationwide. We advocated for at least 10,000 buses, but the government agreed to start with 3,000 buses and tricycles, to be commissioned on May 29,” he asserted.

He added that funding discussions and the possibility of a private-public partnership were ongoing to expand the fleet further.

“Discussions are on to fine-tune the agreement on what to do. Whether it will be a private-public partnership agreement so that more buses can be purchased. So, more vehicles will be added to that number,” he revealed.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu on Monday mandated all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, to henceforth buy only Compressed Natural Gas-powered vehicles and generators.