Post-subsidy palliative: FG to spend N100bn on 3,000 units of CNG-powered buses

President Bola Tinubu says his administration has made provision to invest N100 billion between now and March 2024 to acquire 3,000 units of 20-seater buses powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).

Speaking in a nationwide broadcast on Monday, Tinubu said his administration places a high priority on enhancing welfare and living conditions.

The national address comes on the heels of widespread economic strain that has befallen the country following the removal of the petrol subsidy.

The development quickly shot up petrol prices, making commuting difficult as transportation became almost inaccessible.

Tinubu said his administration has approved the infrastructure support fund for the states, and now plans to invest N100 billion in procuring CNG buses for mass transportation.

“This new infrastructure fund will enable states to intervene and invest in critical areas and bring relief to many of the pain points as well as revamp our decaying healthcare and educational infrastructure,” he said.

“The fund will also bring improvements to rural access roads to ease evacuation of farm produce to markets. With the fund, our states will become more competitive and on a stronger financial footing to deliver economic prosperity to Nigerians.

“Part of our programme is to roll out buses across the states and local governments for mass transit at a much more affordable rate. We have made provision to invest N100 billion between now and March 2024 to acquire 3,000 units of 20-seater CNG-fuelled buses.”

“The buses will be shared with major transportation companies in the states, using the intensity of travel per capital.

“Participating transport companies will be able to access credit under this facility at 9 percent per annum with 60 months repayment period.

On June 8, 2023, oil marketers under the aegis of the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) pledged to donate 100 CNG buses to help mitigate the effects of petrol subsidy removal.

The marketers, led by Winifred Akpani, the managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of Northwest Petroleum and Gas Company Limited, made the commitment during a meeting with Tinubu — a week after he announced the removal of petrol subsidy.

Weeks later, Vice-President Kashim Shettima said the federal government would vigorously pursue the mass deployment of CNG vehicles in all states for public transportation.