April 22, 2024

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has said Nigeria needs to consider gas-powered vehicles as substitute for petroleum-powered vehicles if it is to stop spending a lot on fuel subsidy yearly.

According to him, the nation needs to convert a chunk of the vehicles on its road from petrol-powered to gas-powered if it is to achieve this.

He disclosed this while speaking at the 60th birthday celebration and the book launch of Dr Yunus Akintunde on Monday in Ibadan.

He added that the money the Federal Government was spending on fuel subsidy could be used to transform education and other sectors of the nation.

Aregbesola said, “This concern has not been shared in Nigeria as our addiction to cheap petroleum fuel appears insatiable.

“Most of our systems are still dependent on petrol and diesel which is driving the demand for them, hence the consequences. But we can learn a bit from Egypt where its commercial vehicles, particularly taxis are powered by gas.

“These are the old Peugeot and Renault cars that are no longer in use in Nigeria and other parts of the world, but which have been converted to use gas and are still being used because they are well maintained. It is high time we learnt from this.

“If all our commercial vehicles run on gas, the large chunk of our demand for petrol and diesel will drop and we will save ourselves the humongous amount of money we spend on fuel subsidy. Two weeks ago, the Federal Executive Council considered N3tn as fuel subsidy.

“Let us for a moment imagine how much N3tn would do in providing the critical and essential needs for people from schools, to hospitals, to roads. It is huge and this is what we burn every year on subsidy.”

According to the minister, if the nation starts using gas-powered vehicles, the cost of transportation will reduce and public transport will be the largest beneficiary.

PUNCH

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