A team of technical engineers from India has arrived in Ogun State to begin the process of converting vehicles from fuel to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
The move signals the commencement of the E-Mobility and Gas Mobility Programme of the state government, which involves the conversion of mass transit buses from fuel to gas and tricycles and motorcycles to electric.
The four-man technical team will work on the pilot project, initiate the first phase of the Gas Mobility Programme and further prepare a process map to scale up and do a phase-wise implementation on all the commercial buses in the state.
It would be recalled that the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration had in March this year, in partnership with Nigerian Transport Solutions Limited (NGTSL), took delivery of the CNG conversion kits for the pilot phase of the state’s mass transit buses to be fueled by the CNG.
The CNG project demonstrates the commitment of the administration to a cleaner economy and ensures cheaper means of transportation in the state, especially with the removal of subsidy on fuel by the Federal Government in May.
Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Tokunbo Talabi, in a statement on Wednesday, said the Indian engineers are in the process of starting the conversion process.
According to him, the state’s mass transit buses will start running on CNG in the coming days, in line with the promise by Prince Abiodun that the project would commence in the first week of August.
“The CNG team are on the ground. I was part of the team that received the CNG kits on behalf of the government early in the year and I visited the project site this morning (Tuesday). His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun is a man of his word and such a highly progressive Governor deserves all necessary support for Ogun State to continue to progress.
“The aim is to improve and modernise bus operations in Ogun State through conversion of buses to Compressed Natural Gas by equipping them with the latest technology to improve environmental and operational performance.
“Moreover, the newly fitted buses are expected to improve public transportation reliability, safety and efficiency and reduce polluting air emissions. The pilot project will commence with the conversion of twenty buses from diesel to CNG and exploring the performance before rolling out the programme,” he said.
According to the SSG, the team is also training locally-based auto mechanics and technicians on CNG conversion.
This, he said, will ensure technology transfer and create jobs for the teeming youths in the state.
The conversion process is expected to take between four to six weeks, involving the Bus Mass Transit buses currently in operation in the state capital, Abeokuta as well as others to be deployed in the fleet to serve the planned Mowe-Berger axis.
Talabi said the scheme will relieve the burden imposed on the people of the state by the subsidy removal through cheaper means of transportation.