2nd December 2023

  • By Damilola Aina

The Federal Government, through the Nigerian Orientation Agency, has launched a Compressed Natural Gas “Keke NAPEP” to cut down the high cost of transportation.

The NOA, in collaboration with the SIMBA Group of Companies, and Ecomead Acres, launched the CNG Keke on Friday, in Abuja.

The tricycle is said to consume less fuel compared to the existing tricycles that use petrol, and as such will cut down the cost of transportation to the barest minimum.

Addressing journalists at the event, the Director General, NOA, Lanre Issa-Onilu said the project is focused on touching the lives of ordinary Nigerians especially those living in the rural areas, and consonant with Mr President’s renewed hope agenda.

The DG said the Federal Government has established about 10,000 CNG stations across the country to ensure the availability of compressed natural gas to the users of the newly launched tricycles.

He assured Nigerians that the CNG Keke NAPEP will drastically reduce the high cost of transportation and other similar challenges currently experienced by Nigerians.

He also stated that the CNG is environment friendly and will reduce the pollution caused by the use of petrol, and by extension address the challenge of climate change.

He said, ”We are here to address the critical issue of transportation, as a fallout of the removal of fuel subsidy as it is the government’s policy to provide immediate succour in terms of palliative.

“The President, in his address to the nation several times reiterated the fact that a lot of interventions are in the works regarding how to reduce the subsidy removal’s impact on all of us.

“Related to that is the introduction of the Compressed Natural Gas as an alternative source to power our automobiles. You also recall that the Federal Government is accelerating the process of bringing CNG-powered buses to the country. And apart from that about 10,000 CNG filling stations across the country are put in place, so that we can have CNG as an alternative source of powering our automobiles.”

According to him, the introduction of CNG as an alternative to power automobiles would help alleviate the harsh effects of the fuel subsidy removal, stressing that the Federal Government is accelerating the process of bringing in several thousands of CNG-powered buses into the country.

“We all know the role that Keke NAPEP has come to play as a means of transportation in this country, especially for those who live in rural areas. Millions of Nigerians daily commute using the Keke NAPEP. So, it is a thing of joy that we have this as an immediate solution, by having a local assembly for Keke NAPEP powered by CNG.

“As an agency, we have structures and operations nationwide, in all the states and FCT, and 774 local government areas, this will also come in as an essential tool for us, because we will be working towards securing at least one for each local government for our community orientation and mobilisation officers to be able to do their work.

“As of today, it is also difficult for them to move around to support the system, the government, and the citizens for all the education and enlightenment that they require to get by on a daily, so we are also keying into this, looking at how we can provide this for all our offices nationwide,” he said.

Also speaking, the CEO of Ecomead Acres, Kayode Oyin-Zubair said CNG Keke-NAPEP is configured to use both petrol and CNG, adding that it is environmentally friendly.

Oyin-Zubair assured that the CNG-powered tricycle will ameliorate the impact of the fuel subsidy removal on the cost of transportation for the benefit of all Nigerians.

“The CNG is environment-friendly and it will ameliorate the problems of Nigerians. We have put in place a mechanism to get them to the 774 LGAs across the country,” he said.

He stressed that the CNG-powered-NAPEP is one product that will bring relief to Nigerians in terms of the challenges they face regarding the high cost of transportation.

Meanwhile, the representative of Wandel International and Simba Group of Companies, Sharma Shamrat said CNG-powered automobiles are the best option for Nigeria.

“Let’s say in Nigeria CNG looks new, but CNG is a certified product which has been used all over India. Now, let’s say when I talk about India, we’re talking about 1.5 billion people. The population itself is so huge that needs alternative transport means.

“Now, if a country that big continues to put on petrol and diesel in their vehicles, how much of the damage will be caused to the planet? Mother Nature is not going to hold for too long before it is too late, we need to make the change. Here in Nigeria, CNG seems to be the option.

“In the urban area where we have a lot of good roads, we might have a lot of filling stations for CNG, but that doesn’t mean that we will leave the rural population behind. So our vehicle comes with the option that you can switch between petrol and CNG,” he explained.

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