The Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Jelani Aliyu, has stated that Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in the global drive towards the use of alternative cleaner fuel for vehicles.

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He stated this at an event in Abuja tagged Gas Powered Vehicles Awareness Campaign, with a theme- ‘Safety and Benefits of Using Gas Powered Vehicles’, held on Tuesday.

According to the NADDC Boss, “the global automotive industry is like a horse race that is technically advanced that only countries with adequate utilization of natural and human resources can fully participate and have a head start in the race.

“Certainly, Nigeria is blessed with great talents and resources, so we cannot afford to be left out, but rather be at the forefront of the race. Nowadays, with emergence of new automotive technologies, the automotive industry is rapidly gaining momentum on the strategic transition from use of petrol and diesel to electric vehicles (EV) and natural gas powered vehicles (NGV).

“The continuous use of conventional fuel such as petrol and diesel in vehicles contribute to global warming and climate change which is detrimental to human health and polluting our precious environment.

“You are all aware that the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) as the regulatory agency for the automotive industry, is promoting the transition to alternative and cheaper means of fueling vehicles with the use of autogas”.

The DG recalled that “In December 2020, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, launched the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP). Among the objectives of the programme is the utilization of autogas (CNG/LPG) to be an alternative fuel.

“This initiative is technically and economically feasible because Nigeria is naturally endowed with abundance of natural gas deposits and is ranked first in Africa as the country with most natural gas reserves with about 206.52 trillion cubic feet.

“Therefore, it is imperative that Nigeria must leverage on these natural gas resources, and transform it to an energy that will drive the automotive wheels of Nigeria”.

Also speaking, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, stated that “the NGEP seeks to deepen the penetration of gas as a cheaper alternative to petrol for powering automobiles.

“The federal government, through the NGEP is set to create two million jobs annually for the country and will continue to strengthen the gas value chain as a vital tool for transforming the economy.

“Gas products to be widely pushed for adoption include Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). It is therefore heartwarming and commendable that NADDC being a focal agency in the automotive industry, is playing a key role in ensuring that this initiative is actualized”.