The Group Managing Director, Rainoil Ltd., Mr Gabriel Ogbechie, says the Federal Government is targeting the establishment of 2,000 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) filling stations in the next six months.
Ogbechie said the move was aimed at providing a cheaper and cleaner alternative for vehicle users as the country moves toward the full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector.
He spoke on Thursday during a webinar on ”Deregulation and Sustainable National Energy Future through Natural Gas.”
The webinar was organised by the National Association of Energy Correspondents (NAEC).
Ogbechie said a high delegation of government functionaries recently met with oil marketers to encourage investments on the autogas scheme.
According to him, a N200 billion infrastructure fund has been set up by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to support autogas facility roll-out by marketers.
He said: “Nigeria requires about $6 billion worth of investment. Marketers can leverage on this opportunity by investing in gas adoption and utilisation.
”Investment can be made in areas such as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) bulk storage, LPG trucks, LPG filling plants, LPG skids and Gas cylinder manufacturing, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants.”
The Rainoil boss maintained that the government could not continue to subsidise Premium Motor Spirit, noting that N10.413 trillion was spent on fuel subsidy between 2006 and 2019.
He said the huge funds could be channeled to other critical sectors of the economy such as health care, education and infrastructure development.
Ogbechie expressed optimism that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would bring about the deregulation of the downstream sector by law and not by government policy.
“A fully liberalised sector will enable marketers to freely source products and leverage supply chain options. It will create a level playing field and increased competition will improve efficiency and customer-service.
“It will allow for better planning and forecasting by marketers as well as attract more Foreign Direct Investment,” he said.