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FG set to project smart regulations for CNG



FG set to project smart regulations for CNG

FG set to project smart regulations for CNG

As Nigeria embraces compressed natural gas (CNG) as a cornerstone of its energy future, the federal government is poised to implement smart regulations aimed at fostering growth and ensuring safety. Michael Oluwagbemi, the Programme Director and Chief Executive of the Presidential CNG Initiative (PCNGI), emphasized the government’s commitment to establishing clear and predictable rules to encourage safe investment and development in the CNG sector. “We aim for a CNG sector with zero incidents as we seek to convert up to one million vehicles in the next three to four years,” Oluwagbemi stated.

Commitment to Safety and Cleaner Energy

The transition to CNG is a key component of Nigeria’s strategy to move towards cleaner, safer, and more reliable fuel options under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu. Oluwagbemi described CNG as the “gas and fuel of the future” for both transportation and power sectors. Despite its benefits, he acknowledged concerns about CNG’s high-pressure storage requirements but assured stakeholders of its safety. “CNG is 10 times less explosive than petrol and eight times less explosive than diesel when properly handled,” he highlighted.

Regulatory Framework and Monitoring Systems

Speaking at a virtual workshop hosted by the Competency Centre of the Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN), which focused on operational safety in the retail CNG sector, Oluwagbemi stressed the importance of a robust regulatory framework. He introduced the Nigerian Gas Vehicle Monitoring System (NGVMS), designed to ensure the safe handling and use of CNG, particularly in the transportation sector. “The NGVMS will allow us to see what actors are doing, accredit workshops, train and certify technicians, and ensure that vehicle parts used for conversion are certified and standardized,” he explained.

Industry Support and Collaboration

Huub Stokman, Chairman of MEMAN, underscored the Competency Centre’s role in supporting the entire industry. He emphasized Nigeria’s extensive experience with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and the importance of ensuring the correct and safe introduction of CNG. “It’s essential to realize that we’ve been on this journey for a long time. Nigeria, known as the eighth-largest gas province in the world, has extensive experience with LPG, which is a crucial part of our energy mix. As we introduce CNG to the public, it’s essential to ensure it is done correctly and safely,” Stokman stated.

Stokman highlighted the distinct differences between LPG and CNG, emphasizing the need for proper equipment, transport, and installation procedures. This, he explained, was the motivation behind the workshop aimed at sharing best practices and ensuring the safe adoption of CNG. “We owe it to ourselves, our friends, and our families to introduce CNG safely,” he said.

Economic and Environmental Benefits

Taji Ogbe, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), echoed the importance of safety in the gas industry. He also highlighted the cost savings and environmental benefits of CNG compared to petrol and diesel. “Safety in the gas industry is our top priority,” Ogbe said, noting that while there are challenges associated with CNG adoption, including infrastructure and conversion costs, these can be addressed through standards and public education.

Ogbe commended the efforts of MEMAN and the PCNGI in promoting CNG adoption and emphasized the importance of sustained information dissemination, industry engagement, and regulatory support. “We must all work together to ensure that the adoption of CNG is both successful and safe,” he concluded.

Vision for the Future

As Nigeria sets its sights on converting up to one million vehicles to CNG over the next three to four years, the government’s proactive steps to implement smart regulations and robust safety measures are crucial. The PCNGI’s focus on safety, the development of the NGVMS, and the industry’s collaborative efforts underscore the comprehensive approach needed to ensure the successful transition to CNG.

Addressing Infrastructure and Cost Challenges

One of the significant challenges in adopting CNG is the infrastructure required for its distribution and the costs associated with converting vehicles. Addressing these issues is essential for the widespread adoption of CNG. The government’s plan includes the development of refueling stations and the provision of incentives for vehicle conversion. Public education campaigns are also in place to inform citizens about the benefits of CNG and the steps involved in the conversion process.

Strategic Partnerships and Global Recognition

Strategic partnerships play a vital role in this transition. The collaboration between domestic entities like the IAC and NCAT is a testament to the country’s commitment to leveraging internal resources for global recognition. By ramping up efforts to introduce short courses and boost service offerings, these institutions aim to attract global recognition in training core aviation professionals.

Embracing Technological Innovations

Technological advancements are also pivotal in this transition. The use of simulation-based training for various aviation roles offers cost-effective, safe, and realistic learning environments. This approach not only addresses the pilot shortage and aging workforce but also ensures regulatory compliance. Innovations such as CAE Rise, a cloud-based platform using artificial intelligence and big data analytics, exemplify how technology can personalize training and performance assessment for pilots, setting new standards in the industry.

The Role of Public and Private Sectors

Both public and private sectors must work together to create an enabling environment for CNG adoption. The government’s role in providing regulatory support and incentives is crucial, while private sector involvement in infrastructure development and service provision is equally important. The combined efforts of these sectors will ensure that Nigeria can fully harness the benefits of CNG.

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