Oil marketers have started working on converting over 7,000 retail outlets across the nation to autogas stations, as it will help deepen the use of gas in automobiles.
Reports say the N250bn gas intervention fund gotten from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will be used by the oil marketers to carry out the conversion process as well as purchase products.
Billy Gillis-Harry, who is the President of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), disclosed that dealers were working with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources to establish the autogas stations.
The Government has been advocating for a change from vehicles run on petrol and diesel to autogas since 2019, and declared 2020 as the year of gas and also continued to introduce programmes to encourage Nigerians to start using gas as an alternative for fuel, with the autogas policy being one of such.
“The new government policy to deepen gas utilisation in Nigeria is a very good programme and a welcome idea. It is going to gain acceptance gradually,’’ Gillis-Harry said.
“And so for us in PETROAN, we have already started the process of vetting over 7,000 retail outlets. Most of them are going to be qualified for conversion centres.
“Others are going to be applying to the government for the N250bn loan to restore the facilities and also to make provision to buy products.”
PETROAN’s President observed that although the conversion process had been slow, it was still ongoing, adding that the use of autogas in vehicles would help in eliminating the issue of petrol subsidy.
He said, “The thing is that the process is slow but it is happening and PETROAN is at the forefront of the engagement, because as retail outlet owners we want the stations to be successful in keying into this gas utilisation policy.
“When fully effective, it will stop all these complaints around subsidies and monies not being remitted to the government for other developmental purposes.”
Gillis-Harry said oil marketers had been meeting with the Gas Utilisation Committee of the petrol ministry, as efforts were being put in to ensure the success of the process.
He said, “Right now as I speak to you, we have collated over 7,000 applications to be passed to the government. This could be more, but as of today we have got over 7,000 applications that have been filled out.
“The government has brought out the terms and conditions for qualification to access the fund. It is not an all-comers fund. There is a N250bn loan that the Federal Government and the ministry have brought out to assist in ensuring that the gas process works.”