CNG buses to slash transport costs, curb inflation soon – Edun

The federal government has said that the introduction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses under the Presidential CNG Initiative (PCNGi) will lead to a substantial reduction in transportation costs, ultimately helping to curb inflation.
Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Olawale Edun, expressed this view during a visit to the JET Motor Company (JET) Assembly Plant in Lagos, where CNG buses are being assembled.

Vice President Kashim Shettima, speaking at a separate forum on the economy yesterday, said the current tax reforms in the country are designed for the overall benefit of Nigerians.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Temitope Ajayi, quoted the minister as saying: “I have come to see the CNG buses that Nigerians are asking about. I have seen them. I have tested them and driven them. I have seen them being assembled. The benefits will soon be available to Nigerians.

Edun highlighted the significant cost savings that CNG buses offer compared to their petrol-powered counterparts.

“Two critical aims will be achieved. Whereas it costs about N55,000 to fill a 15-20 seater bus with petrol, it will cost between N12-15,000 to fill a CNG bus of the same capacity. This is three times, if not four times less.


“This is a huge savings that will help reduce transport costs and at the same time help reduce inflation,” he said.

He said the PCNGi is all about mass transit that is affordable, and praised JET’s employment of local talents in the assembly of the vehicles.

The chairman and founder of JET, Chidi Ajaere, took the minister round during the visit.

Also on hand were the CEO of JET motor company, Engr Derek Ewelukwa, and other members of the JET team such as Sanjay Rupani of the Technical Development Department and Ebimo Ofongo, the plant manager.

Present also were Tosin Coker, Commercial director PCNGi and Joseph Osanipin, Director General of the National Automotive Development and Design Council.

Ajaere commended President Bola Tinubu for his initiative in promoting local production of the CNG vehicles and the entire PCNGi team’s resolve to make the project a success.

JET was established in 2018 to build Electric Vehicles (EV) vans, pickups and CNG/Petrol buses tailored to meet Nigeria’s unique transportation needs.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Joe Ajaero, during a visit to corporate headquarters of The Nation on Thursday said transport fares in the country would not have been this high if government had acted fast in flooding the roads with the CNG vehicles.

He said: “When the current government first came into power and they removed subsidy, we made a proposal of CNG as the alternative source.

“If you have Lagos roads flooded with CNG buses, anybody that is paying N3K (N3,000) may just need N1K (N1,000) to go to work and back.

“Now, you have checked that problem of transportation; even the market women carrying their products, whatever they are expending as cost of transportation is going to reduce.

“Between June last year and now, within three months we would have flooded the roads with CNG buses.


“In fact, at a stage we had to bring in Innoson, which started producing vehicles that are CNG compliant. It is usually double. What you need to bring is a conversion kit and you can switch over to CNG or to PMS.

“If we had achieved that in the first six or three months, you wouldn’t need to go to the streets. Transportation fare would have just crashed.

“Now, if that was done before the removal of fuel subsidy, no Nigerian would resist and nobody would have known that there is removal of subsidy.

“But by the time you removed it, prices were going up with no alternatives in sight.

“We equally consulted people who are in that field and said we have gotten a bank to finance this at N320 per vehicle and then you can pay back for a period of three years as workers.

“We met with the federal government. The same people that were asking us about the meaning of CNG, they brought their own consultants who presented a bill of N800 and they set up a committee on that.

“And the committee as at today is not labour and government because there is disparity and then one may be faulting the ones we brought and say they are quacks or whatever.

“So, between that time and now, that assignment has not been concluded and they said they released some money for bringing in some CNG buses because transportation is at the centre of this thing.”

Shettima: Our tax reforms initiated for overall benefit of Nigerians

Vice President Shettima said in Abuja that the tax reforms were meant to revitalise revenue generation in Nigeria while sustaining an investment-friendly and globally competitive business environment.

Represented by his Special Adviser on General Duties, Dr. Aliyu Moddibo Umar, the Vice President told participants at the close-out retreat of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee that contrary to speculations in some quarters, “we are not here to frustrate any sector of our economy but to create an administrative system that ensures the benefits of a thriving tax system for all our citizens.”

Senator Shettima explained the policy thrust of the administration’s tax reforms, pointing out that the dynamics of the nation’s fiscal landscape prompted the Tinubu administration to pause and reconsider the direction it was going.

“Our aim remains the revitalisation of revenue generation in Nigeria while sustaining an investment-friendly and globally competitive business environment,” his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications Stanley Nkwocha quoted him as saying.

While expressing confidence in the ability of the committee to deliver on the mandate, the VP emphasised the significance of the task ahead, noting that “we are gathered today because we are transitioning from the phase of proposal in the operations of this committee’s work to the phase of implementation.

“I am confident that both the federal and state governments stand ready to ensure the effective implementation of your reform proposals, and we shall provide the institutional framework to guarantee the adoption of the consensuses of this committee, aligning them with our economic agenda,” he added.

<<The Nation>>

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