Following the recent increase in petrol prices across the country, Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo revealed on Monday how the government is finding ingenious ways to alleviate the economic hardship being endured by the citizenry.
In a statement issued on his behalf by media aide Laolu Akande, Osinbajo said, “We fully understand that we must have a way of ensuring that the pain the people feel, the economic difficulty that people are going through, that we are able to address those as much as possible.
“But, the important thing is that the President and the government are committed completely in ensuring that Nigerians do not suffer needlessly and in whatever way it is possible, we will reduce the burden on Nigerians.”
The Vice President added that part of the discussions federal government had with labour leaders to avert a proposed strike, was to ensure that palliatives that would reduce the current burden are introduced.
“One of the ways is by using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). And government has committed to do the conversion. First of all, we are starting with commercial vehicles. Most commercial transporters will have the capacity to use both gas and petrol.
“That is already being done experimentally in Edo State. Dangote, for instance, has converted all his trucks to the use of CNG, and that is 4000 or even more of those trucks.
“It is not a particularly difficult thing to do for the commercial transporters, it may be expensive for the individual but that is also part of the commitment of government, to be able to do the conversion, and the price of gas comes at about almost half the price of petrol.”
The Vice President noted that there are other creative ways that the federal government is working to reduce the burden on Nigerians, saying that nobody expected a downturn in the economic fortunes of the country, brought by Covid-19 pandemic.