Nigeria Explores Gas as Viable Alternative Amid Fuel Subsidy Removal Controversy

Nigeria Explores Gas as Viable Alternative Amid Fuel Subsidy Removal Controversy

…By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media.

Since President Bola Tinubu declared an end to the fuel subsidy regime in Nigeria in May, discussions have been ongoing regarding the effects of its removal and the search for cost-effective alternatives to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol.

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Fuel Subsidy Removal Sparks Controversy and Pump Price Increase

President Tinubu’s declaration led to a surge in controversies, including the Nigerian National Petrol Company (NNPC) Limited raising the pump price of petrol from N184 per litre to over N500 per litre.

While some stakeholders support the move, others, such as the Nigeria Labour Party (NLC), criticize the removal and highlight the need for accompanying palliative measures.

Focus Shifts to Gas as a Viable Alternative

With the deregulation of the oil sector, industry experts have turned their attention to finding cheaper alternatives to petrol, with a particular focus on gas.

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While the downstream oil sector is still undergoing market deregulation, the gas sector has already been deregulated.

Experts Advocate for Gas as a More Economical and Lasting Option

Bassey Essien, the Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Association of LPG Marketers (NALPGAM), highlighted the potential of gas as an affordable alternative to petrol for various applications, including powering automobiles and generators.

He emphasized that gas is more economical, lasting longer and offering an avenue for diversifying energy sources.

President Tinubu Acknowledges Hardship but Stresses the Need for Sacrifice

Recognizing the hardships caused by the subsidy removal, President Tinubu, in his Democracy Day address, expressed empathy for the people while emphasizing the necessity of the decision to save the country’s resources from a few individuals.

He pledged significant investments in transportation infrastructure, education, power supply, healthcare, and public utilities to improve the quality of life.

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Nigerians Seek Alternative Solutions

Amidst the challenges, some Nigerians have begun exploring alternative solutions to ease the increasing hardships caused by the removal of the fuel subsidy.

Videos circulating on social media show individuals modifying their generator engines to use cooking gas instead of fuel, providing temporary relief.

Independent Petroleum Marketers and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

Oil marketers have expressed their ability to lower the pump price of petrol through independent imports, while the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) intensifies its campaign for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative automotive fuel.

IPMAN aims to sell CNG at a price ranging between N100 and N110 per litre by the end of June, which would significantly reduce energy costs.

CNG’s Potential Benefits and Market Creation

The national president of IPMAN, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, emphasized that CNG adoption would bring down energy costs and create job opportunities.

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He called on the government to create a favorable market environment, highlighting the potential for cost savings, particularly in the transportation and agro-based industries.

CNG’s affordability compared to Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) could lead to cheaper food prices and foster economic growth.

Gas Sector’s Potential for Investment and Domestic Consumption

Bassey Essien of NALPGAM highlighted the need for investment in the gas sector, emphasizing its catalytic role in industrialization.

He noted that Nigeria possesses substantial gas reserves, which, if utilized domestically without exporting, could meet the potential local demand.

Conclusion:

As Nigeria navigates the aftermath of fuel subsidy removal, conversations about alternative solutions have gained momentum.

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Gas has emerged as a promising option due to its affordability, lasting power, and potential to diversify energy sources.

Stakeholders continue to explore the potential benefits of alternative fuels like Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and advocate for investment in the gas sector to meet domestic demands and drive industrialization.

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