I Drove From Lagos To Akure With ₦2,450 Using CNG As Fuel (Video)
Yes you read it correctly N2,450.(Two thousand four hundred and fifty Naira) on CNG, now in case this is this first time you are you are coming across this word , it stands for compressed natural gas. It is a form of fuel that is a byproduct of oil exploration, you remember the fire in enugu recently while drilling a borehole? Well that is natural gas in its raw form.
Nigeria is blessed with more Gas deposits than crude oil, we are literarily sitting on our destiny, natural gas unlike Petrol or diesel do not require fractional distillation 🤣 , in other words, NO REFINERY is required to process it, what is required is a system of separation, filtration, compression storage and delivery. The applications of CNG are vast, from the automotive sector, to power generating , and even home use for cooking.
If and when harnessed safely and properly like most developed countries, we can effectively lower our costs by about 80!percent and abandon importation of petroleum products.
But again there are factors that hinder the development and expansion the use of CNG. I will use my experience as a case study.
In may 2023 after the presidents speech I decided I was going to lower my transport costs by driving fuel efficient vehicles. I started by buying a toyota Prius 2009, it is a mix of an electric vehicle and a Petrol driven engine. effectively I was able to cover about 860km on a 40L tank highway, and 550km city driving, that was good, but not enough for me.
I started to read up on CNG and after a lot of research, it became my new goal.
I bought a registered hyundai I10 2012
I went for training for CNG installation in automobiles, imported parts, and put together the very vehicle in the video, so far my cost have dropped to an average of N10 per km on higway and N13 per km within the city . For me this is taking back to before the removal of subsidy even better sef.
It was not all smooth sailing , there were a lot of issues and I will list them out.
There are no CNG parts for sale locally: Zero, there is no shop or store selling parts to retrofit a vehicle to dual fuel CNG . This a value chain pregnant and waiting to bring life, sadly investors are scared, and I’ll give you some of the reasons.
FX : Unstable FX has made a lot of investors sit on the fence waiting for the dollar to drop or become stable , no one wants to make a huge loss because he bought goods at high FX rates while his competitor got it lower.
CNG import Waiver: There needs to be transparency on the import waiver and it needs to be gazetted, as it stands it’s just a govt proclamation that needs to be in black and white so investors will be confident before they can invest . It’s all about landing goods at a uniform and competitive price.
Training: It cost me 4 times the national minimum wage to get CNG installation training for a 2week course, that on its own would have been a deterrent if I didn’t have any funding. Trainings should be subsidized, or free, they should be brought down to the average mechanic so it’s use can be accepted. CNG should become part of the curriculum in higher institutions of learning as it is the future of cheap energy.
Duration: It takes a ship 5 weeks to move from china to Apapa, takes a ship 3-4!weeks from Europe or dubai to Apapa. But it takes 7-8weeks to clear goods. This is a national emergency that will change lives and we should have it in express mode as Nigerians are willing and ready .
Refill Stations: I arrived akure from lagos with N2,450, but I will drive back on Petrol because the closest fill up is either in ibadan or benin which makes no economic sense to attempt . Motorists need more refill stations on the highway to make this work. Major routes should be prioritized and more stations created across the nation. It is not an easy task, but it can be done.
Finally Cost!: It costs an average of $230 for a CNG sequential kit and about $150 for a 65L CNG type 1 cylinder . Total $380 (N456,000) this is exclusive of shipping , handling and clearing . Eventually the landing cost of these items are about N600,000 , without factoring in the cost of installation and fabrication of the cylinder mount. Tentatively it would cost N800,000-1m to convert or if I use the right technical term retrofit a single vehicle.
Summary: Prior to the removal of subsidy on PMS I was personally receiving about N200 free of charge from the govt for every 1L of Petrol I bought, now it is gone and there is a cheaper alternative, and it is a 1 off installation, the govt should as a matter of urgency declare a state of emergency in the transportation sector and proffer ways of bringing down the cost of transport using CNG alternatives by subsidizing CNG parts and accessories for motorists in a transparent manner. This will have a ripple effect on almost all sectors of the economy and lower costs and drive down inflation. If implemented properly we have no Bisi importing Petrol or diesel as we are predominantly a GAS endowed nation.
Nigerians are smart, Nigerians are technologically innovative, Nigerians are good business men and women, the govt can not do it alone, all we ask for is a transparent , level playing field, govt incentives , and a healthy enabling business environment on this CNG matter and in less than 12months, transport costs will drop by over 80percent across board. I hope this message gets to a policy maker.