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CNG vehicles, kits to attract zero import duty

Federal Government has disclosed plans to waive import duties on vehicles with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as well as CNG kits to encourage making existing vehicles CNG-complaint.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement on the agenda for the Presidential Initiative on Compressed Natural Gas (Pi-CNG) in Ilorin, Kwara State, yesterday, the National Director/Chief Executive of Pi-CNG, Michael Oluwagbemi, disclosed that the Federal Government “hopes to achieve” conversion of one million of about 10 million existing petrol vehicles by 2027. He said: “This will save Nigeria between $2.5 billion and $3.5 billion a year and get us off almost 10 million litres of petrol from what we’re using.

“The Federal Government, in a December 2023 circular approved by the President and issued by the Finance Ministry, through the Special Adviser, Energy, had approved import duty waiver for all CNG vehicles and kits, including equipment used to manufacture CNG vehicles. It is the standing order of government. It is for those who are manufacturing CNG vehicles in Nigeria and those bringing in vehicles. Meanwhile, yes, there is still a need to comply with regulations by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and other regulatory agencies,” he stressed.

The engagement with North Central II and South West II was attended by chieftains and members of transport unions in Ekiti, Kwara, Ondo, Kogi, and Osun states. Oluwagbemi narrated advantages of the CNG vehicles over petrol vehicles, saying that CNG versions run on clear and better energy for a safe environment.

“CNG vehicles are 40 to 70 per cent cheaper than petrol vehicles, 18 per cent safer and more reliable. With CNG vehicles, you go less to mechanics for either oil change,” he said. The expert put the cost of conversion between N300,000 and N750,000.

He, however, added: “The Federal Government is already working on a conversion incentives programme to be announced on May 29. It will start gradually and get better. We are looking at conversion of one million vehicles by 2027 and saving Nigeria about $2.5 billion and $3.5 billion a year and getting us almost 10 million litres of petrol from what we are using.”

Ekiti State Commissioner for Transportation, Kehinde Ajobiewe, said the CNG conversion programme would alleviate the suffering of the nation’s transporters, while the Special Adviser to Ondo State Governor on Transport, Olugbega Omole, described the programme as a laudable initiative that all should key into.

Acting Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Kwara, Isa Ore, said the transporters support the CNG conversion programme. Chief Executive Officer, Rolling Energy Providers Limited, Umar Mubarak, represented by the Chief Operation Officer, Uzzy Ajeroh, said petrol vehicles and CNG vehicles would be operated side by side till the whole conversion is achieved.

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