Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has said the introduction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Mass Transit Buses in the country will revolutionize the entire transport sector and reduce the hardship being experienced by Nigerians as a result of the recent removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government.
The state on Monday unveiled the first set of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Mass Transit Buses in the country with a promise by Governor Abiodun to expand the scope of the scheme’s operation throughout the state.
The 17 converted vehicles in the maiden scheme became the first in the country in response to the recent removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government, with the deployment of CNG Technology and E- Mobility as a better alternative and viable means of transportation in the Gateway State
Governor Abiodun, while speaking at the launching, said the initiative was conceived even before the fuel subsidy removal as his administration was desirous of a cost-effective transportation system with little impact on the environment.
“The initiative was clearly anticipated because we knew that the regulation of the downstream sector was eminent and unavoidable.
“This has become very imperative considering the urgent need to provide a cleaner environment and to mitigate the effects of climate change which we are all seeing to be real and which principally is caused by the use of fossil fuel, predominantly diesel and petrol.
“As your governor, I am extremely delighted that we are able to commence the implementation of this laudable initiative and I am bold to say that we come tops yet again as the first state in the country to record this feat which is another successful Public Private sector partnership with our partner called Spiro, a company that has successfully deplored this in other parts of the West Africa sub-region,” the governor said.
He noted that local mechanics, who are part of the conversion engineering, had been trained, while conversion stations have been set up in the three senatorial district of the State, adding that this would allow for the rapid conversion of commercial and public mass transit buses and vehicles across the State.
The governor added that the initiative would reduce the cost of transporting goods and services as well as provide training and job opportunities for thousands of technicians and mechanics around the state.
Some of the buses, the governor revealed would be given to workers and students, while some would ply the Mowe- Ibafo to Berger in Lagos and Redeemed axis to Lagos Island, as the corridor was heavily congested with large cross border migration.
He said: “Some of these buses ply Kuto to Wole Soyinka train station in Laderin, some from Onikolobo to Idi-Aba corridor, while others will serve Ita-Oshin-Adatan route. As we expand our fleet, we will also deplore the buses to major towns and cities starting with Sango- Ota, Sagamu, Ijebu-Ode and this will provide mass transportation for our citizens particularly our young students in the towns and cities.”
Governor Abiodun said the state government has set up a gas filling station at Obada-Oko, just as it would provide the needed infrastructure to support the refuelling of the buses along the roads and terminals.
Abiodun appreciated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the initiative, noting that the state government is taking the direction from the federal government as a sub- national in executing the project.
“I want to appreciate every resident of Ogun State that government appreciate that these are very difficult times and we are all dealing with the trying period. I promise you that we will leave no stone unturned at ensuring the needed succour and relief to the generality of our people.
“I hope you are aware that we have commenced the construction of a Dry Port at Kajola-Papalanto corridor, which will further open up the State for investment opportunities as a verile alternative to the busy Lagos Port.
“In the same vein, it is a thing of joy that in the next couple of months, commercial operations will begin at our Agro-Cargo International Airport located along Iperu-Ilishan road in Ikenne Local Government Area of the State,” the governor added.
In his welcome address, Commissioner for Transportation; Engr. Olugbenga Dairo said that the unveiling of the buses marks an important milestone in the implementation of the state’s transport policies and the state multi-modal transport plan, adding that the use of alternative and cheaper fuels is also one of the key reasons why the state government established the ministry of transportation in February, 2020.
Also speaking, the member, representing Imeko and Yewa North in the Federal House of Representatives; Hon. Gboyega Nasir Isiaka described CNG as one of the challenges to the transportation problem occassioned by the fuel subsidy removal, moreso when the Federal Government was also thinking in the same direction.
He appreciated the governor for the brilliant pivotal initiative, adding that the impact must be felt by the people.
Akarigbo of Remoland and Chairman of the Ogun State Council of Obas, Oba Babatunde Ajayi lauded the achievement of the present administration, saying that the Prince Abiodun-led administration is on the right track.
The Akarigbo urged Governor Abiodun to ensure that the CNG enabled buses do operate inter-city only but also embark on intra-city transportation.