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Tinubu Directs Mandatory Procurement of CNG-Powered Vehicles By Ministries, Agencies

Tinubu has ordered the rejection of memos for purchase of petrol-dependent vehicles, gives go-ahead for purchase of solar, electric-powered vehicles.

Nigeria’s Fifth Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting for year 2024 which was held on Monday at the State House, Abuja, with President Bola Tinubu presiding will continue on Tuesday.

Monday’s Council meeting which was coming about seven weeks after the last one held on March 25, 2024, adjourned till Tuesday to conclude deliberations on the agenda of the meeting.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting held at the Council Chambers, Information and National Orientation Minister, Mohammed Idris, said far-reaching decisions were taken at the meeting adding that deliberations will continue on Tuesday by Noon.

According to him: “The meeting is not yet concluded. Council meeting will continue tomorrow. Therefore, there will be no press briefing today. A lot of far reaching decisions are being taken and the conclusions will be made available to you tomorrow. Thank you very much”.

Presidential spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, later on Monday issued a release saying in

 line with his commitment to ensure energy security, drive utility, and cut high fuel costs, President Tinubu has directed the mandatory procurement of compressed-natural-gas-powered vehicles by all government ministries, departments, and agencies.

The President’s directive is also in furtherance of Nigeria’s effort to transition to cleaner energy as CNG-enabled vehicles have been adjudged to produce lower emissions, even as they present a more affordable alternative for Nigerian energy consumers.

Addressing members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the State House on Monday, President Tinubu affirmed that there is no turning back in the energy reforms initiated by his administration.

According to him: “This nation will not progress forward if we continue to dance on the same spot. We have the will to drive the implementation of CNG adoption across the country, and we must set the example as public officials in leading the way to that prosperous future that we are working to achieve for our people. It starts with us, and in seeing that we are serious, Nigerians will follow our lead”.

The President further directed the rejection of all memos brought by members of FEC seeking the purchase of traditional petrol-dependent vehicles, tasking the affected members of the council to go back and diligently seek value-driven procurements of CNG-compliant vehicles.

President Tinubu, according to the statement, remains committed to effectively harnessing the nation’s gas potential, alleviating the burden of high transportation costs on the masses while enhancing the standard of living of all Nigerians.

 FEC has ordered that all new vehicles, generators or tricycles being procured by government and its agencies must be powered by CNG, solar or electric. 

According to the top official who spoke on condition of anonymity, the order was one of the major decisions reached by the council before it adjourned its marathon proceedings till today after over four hours.

Affected  by the order are new requests by Nigeria Customs Service, the Shipper’s Council, an agency of the Marine and Blue Economy which had sought approval to buy several hundreds of operational vehicles, to be powered by petrol. 

The council approved the requests by said they must be CNG vehicles.

Also, a request by the Federal Capital  Territory to buy petrol generators was also approved, but the council insisted they must be powered by CNG or solar. 

Government also expects agencies to begin to convert petrol or diesel vehicles or generators  to CNG. 

The Tinubu administration which launched the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative( PCNGi) last October plans to roll out about 800 CNG buses, 4000 CNG tricycles and 100 electric buses in the first phase in the next few weeks. 

In taking the decision on Monday, government was signalling its readiness for energy transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy.

Government believes its policy will unlock new investments in renewable energy, solar panels and lithium batteries. 

It also believes that the policy will be climate friendly and reduce inflation as it will slash costs by about 60 percent.

The FEC had at the commencement of the meeting on Monday observed a minute’s silence in honour of two former Ministers; one-time Minister of Education, Professor Fabian Osuji, and former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, before going into closed door session.

Osuji, who died at the age of 82 in February, served as minister of education during the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, where he played a key role in initiating policies that impacted positively in the sector.

Onu, who died at the age of 72, was appointed Minister of Science and Technology during the tenure of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Council meeting was attended by the Vice President Kashim Shettima; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume; Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila; the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan; and most of the other members of the Council.

Earlier, President Tinubu sworn in two additional Federal Commissioners of the National Population Commission (NPC).

Those who took their oath of office before the President are Fasuwa Johnson Johnson (Ogun State) and Amidu Tadese Raheem (Osun State).

Their swearing-in came weeks after 17 of their colleagues took Oath of Office in March, 2024.

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

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