The Federal Government of Nigeria has officially commissioned a pilot conversion centre for vehicles that will run on compressed natural gas in the Federal Capital Territory.

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It said the centre will boost the CNG initiative of the government and mitigate the effect of subsidy removal on petrol by reducing transportation costs.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Transport Ministry, Director, Press and Public Relations, Olujimi Oyetomi on Friday.

The Minister of Transportation, Said Alkali, speaking at the ceremony, revealed that the adoption of a more environmentally friendly energy source like the CNG would help reposition the transportation sector.

The minister, who was represented by the Acting Director, Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration, Akhidenor Cynthia, said greenhouse gas emissions pose a health hazard and dire environmental consequences, and the country must play its role in reducing carbon emissions in the environment.

He said, “The adoption of a more environmentally friendly energy source like the CNG, which the country has in abundance will reposition the transportation sector in urban cities across the country and put Nigeria in tandem with what the world desires at this time.

Greenhouse gas emissions pose health hazards and dire environmental consequences, and Nigeria cannot afford to lag considering that she is a signatory to Green House Emission policy aimed at reducing carbon emission in the environment.”

On her part, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation/Marine and Blue Economy, Dr. Magdalene Ajani urged Nigerians to consider the conversion of vehicles to CNG as a symbol of a new beginning, adding that the CNG initiative is not only about the conversion of vehicles but also about generating employment opportunities.

According to Ajani, the goal is to build a sustainable future, leveraging our own cheap and clean energy source.

Also speaking at the inauguration, the Chief Executive Officer of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative Steering Committee, Micheal Oluwagbemi, described the adoption of CNG as a significant development in diversifying the transportation sector from fuel dependency to natural gas.

Oluwagbemi emphasised that the CNG center would pave the way for a more ecologically sustainable and economically prosperous future in Nigeria.

According to the P-CNGi Steering Committee, seven CNG conversion centres have been established in the country.

“Today, as we officially open the Abuja Conversion Centre, we go beyond the inauguration of a facility; we extend a hand to a greener, more sustainable, and affordable future.

“We are not just changing how we fuel our vehicles; we are changing lives, one job at a time,” Oluwagbemi said.

The facility is located at the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, Abuja.