- The president of the Nigeria Labor Congress believes the country does not need to focus on fuel subsidy removal but on the usage of natural gas.
- His stance is supportive of the NGEP initiative developed by the Buhari administration in 2020.
- IPMAN and Labor are waiting for the government to activate the conversion of vehicles to compressed natural gas.
Joe Ajaero, the president of the National Labour Congress (NLC) has said that Nigeria does not need fuel subsidy removal if the government will keep its promise and enable the conversion of vehicles from fuel to compressed natural gas (CNG), which is a variant of natural gas. He said this during an interview via Arise TV on Sunday, April 30.
According to Ajaero, there are viable alternatives to removing fuel subsidies and the NLC has moved beyond that to providing alternatives to the government. However, it seems as if the government is only interested in fuel subsidy removal. He said:
- “There is the option of repairing the refineries, but we also had a second option of compressed natural gas which they promised, and that the conversion of vehicles to CNG will not take more than three months. Internationally, CNG is clean and even cheaper than the price of fuel we are buying today.
- “We have been waiting for the federal government and they initially announced that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was going to release about N250 million to commence the conversion of the vehicles to CNG and the independent marketers all over the country volunteered their filling stations for conversion to CNG and up till this moment, with our viable options on the ground which labour as a partner has bought into, and which will be cheaper and more economic to the country, people are still talking of subsidy removal.
- “If we convert to CNG, nothing concerns us with subsidy removal. So, the labour movement is not lacking in ideas on alternatives. We do not need fuel subsidy removal if we have gas deposits and the gas deposits in Nigeria can sustain this country for the next 500 years.”
On April 3, 2023, the national leadership of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) wrote a letter to the Federal Ministry of Finance and expressed its intention to contribute to the fast-tracking of the National Gas Expansion Program (NGEP), which is a gas conversion policy initiated by the Buhari administration in 2020. IPMAN pledged to co-locate natural gas dispensers on their network of over 30,000 filling stations in Nigeria.
What you should know:
CNG emits 30 to 60% fewer greenhouse gases than petrol and diesel, making it more appealing to attracting additional financing from international and regional development finance institutions that are disposed to support natural gas utilization projects compared to petrol refineries.
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