The Nigeria Gas Company Limited (NGC) has signed a 20 year gas sales and purchase agreement with Borkir International Company limited, a member of the Dangote Group of Companies, to boost industrialisation in the country.
The Managing Director, NGC, Mr. Saidu Mohammed, explained that the aim of the partnership was to make gas available to industries and other sectors of the economy, noting that Nigeria is endowed with natural gas but does not put it to effective utilisation.
Mohammed, during the MoU signing ceremony on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as automotive fuel, said it is charged with the development of an efficient gas industry to fully serve Nigeria's energy and industrial feedstock needs through an integrated gas pipeline network and also to export natural gas and its derivatives to the West African region.
He said the CNG initiative would serve as an alternative vehicle fuel, which has a great future in Nigeria, especially in view of the need to export more crude oil or refined products for additional foreign revenue.
“We have signed a 20-year contract and we have the obligation to fulfill it. We hope this is not the end of such agreement. This partnership is not only to guarantee gas supply but it is equally going downstream to give guarantee to the vehicle users,” he added.
“We are here today to propagate CNG as a vehicular fuel where I am looking at it from the macro perspective with Nigeria being a heavy gas producer but the usage of gas is the issue. We believe in partnership that would develop our natural resources and add value to our economy,” he said.
According to him, the use of CNG would displace liquid fuels and also reduce the over dependence of importation Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and diesel in the nation.
“We have natural gas that can displace all of this and one of the ways is to invite every entrepreneur to partner with us because we cannot do it alone we have experts all over. we are launching this era of CNG to start with trucks and I am sure by the end of the day, we would be talking of many other things to come but the whole aim is for us to this at the upstream,” he added.
He said the Federal Government must do everything it can to ensure that gas is sourced and harnessed locally saying that the country can no longer continue to import gas.
“This is a commodity that we have here and can be translated into an economic commodity that can compel our industry to help them reduce the cost of production and transportation cost for our industries,” he said.
“We will continue to support initiatives that will develop our gas and we will not only support but make sure it is available to make investors enjoy returns on their investment,” he stressed.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, Borkir International, Mr. Sanni Dangote, said the initiative would help many transport businesses save up to 25 to 30 per cent in their fuel cost, stressing that the company has invested over N1billion in the project.
“Before the end of the year we plan to invest another $20 million, which is about N3 billion, because our target is to convert 20,000 vehicles nationwide to use CNG. We are planning about 8 stations where two is on ground and in the next four to five months; we would have the remaining six. We are to invest about a N100 million in the next few years to build stations to cover most of the major highways and cities in Nigeria,” he added.
He said to demonstrate the economic viability of CNG as automotive fuels, it would start with a minimum of 5,000 trucks in the first phase which it would later increase it to a minimum of 20,000 in the next two years.
“Currently, we have got two stations where we have started the installations and we are also working on another six to make a total of eight. We are not going to stop here because we are looking at having more stations in the years to come.
“With this kind of partnership, many transport owners and vehicle owners that are into transport business will experience a new look in terms of the cost of fuel and also we expect that they would save up to at least 25 to 30 per cent in their fuel cost.
“This venture is something we started some few months ago with the idea of trying the best to contribute into the energy sector by looking at the transportation sector and seeing how we can bring about cheaper energy for the environment and also make it a viable business for us and the stakeholders,” he noted.
“The challenges of this project will be the perception of the people to see whether the project is economically viable for them and to convert their vehicles into CNG and everybody knows that gas is cleaner when compared to petrol.
“As a result of this, we have set up a conversion centre opened in Ikeja last month and we are going to establish in other parts of the country where anyone that wants to convert vehicle into use of CNG will definitely have the opportunity to come our centres,” he stressed.
He pointed out that the company also has a one-year warranty of the product to give customers the opportunity to walk into its conversion centres in case of product defaults.
“We believe this initiative has come to stay because CNG is the best option for energy compared to petrol. We are here today to sign the contract for 20 years with NGC to provide this gas in a compressed nature form to end users and the industries,” he added.