The National Automotive Design and Development Council on Wednesday said it has concluded plans to develop National Occupational Standards for the conversion of fuel-powered cars from petrol to gas.
The NADDC Director-General, Jelani Aliyu said this in Abuja at an awareness campaign and sensitization programme with the theme “Safety and Benefits of Using Gas-Powered Vehicles in Nigeria.”
He said the essence of developing the NOS is to ensure that the skills to competently and safely convert vehicles are available in Nigeria.
According to him, National Occupational Standards (NOS) specify the standards of performance an individual must achieve when carrying out a function in the workplace, together with the underpinning knowledge and understanding needed to meet standards consistently.
Essentially, he said NOS are benchmarks of good practice, adding that when developed, validated by industry practitioners and approved by the regulatory authority, it would be used to train auto technicians on the conversion, repair and maintenance of gas-powered vehicles.
This, he noted, is the global best practice and Nigeria cannot afford to do otherwise.
He said that the National Automotive Design and Development Council as the regulatory agency for the automotive industry is promoting the transition to alternative and cheaper means of fueling vehicles with the use of auto-Gas.
In December 2020, President,Muhammadu Buhari launched the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP).
Among the objectives of the programme is the utilization of Autogas (CNG/LPG) to be an alternative fuel.
This initiative, according to the NADDC Boss, is technically and economically feasible because Nigeria is naturally endowed with abundance of natural gas deposit and is ranked first in Africa as the country with most natural gas reserves with about 206.53 trillion cubic feet.
He said it is imperative that Nigeria must leverage on these natural gas resources, and transform it to an energy that will drive the automotive wheels of Nigeria.
He said although there are numerous safety features and benefits of gas-powered vehicles, the public is still skeptical about safety of gas-powered vehicles.
The NADDC DG said this awareness workshop is therefore aimed at allaying such fears and educating the public on the benefits inherent in the use of auto-gas in Nigeria.
He said, “NADDC will continue to support the development of gas-powered vehicles in Nigeria through the formulation and implementation of automotive gas policy, skills development through mechatronic trainings, standardization and monitoring of Autogas conversion centres, research, design and development of Nigerian made gas-powered vehicles.
“The Council has trained over 20,000 technicians in the industry through its Auto-mechatronics Skills Development Programme in collaboration with accredited training providers nationwide.
“Presently, some of these training providers have been identified and would be certified as conversion/installation centres for auto-gas.
“The Council has also concluded plans to develop National Occupational Standards (NOS) for the conversion of fuel-powered cars from petrol to gas.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo said the auto-gas programme is aimed at deepening domestic usage of natural gas in its various forms, adding that it is aligned with the Federal Government’s plan to make gas the first-choice source for cheaper and cleaner energy.
He stated, “The plan is expected to deliver at least one million vehicle conversions by the end of 2021. The NGEP seeks to deepen the penetration of gas as a cheaper alternative to petrol for powering automobiles.
“The Federal Government through the NGEP is set to create two million jobs annually for the country and will continue to strengthen the gas value chain, as a vital tool for transforming the economy.
“Gas products to be widely pushed for adoption include Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). It is therefore heartwarming and commendable that NADDC being a focal agency in the automotive industry is playing a key role in ensuring that this initiative is actualized.”
He described the emergence of Autogas as an alternative to gasoline and diesel as the result of government policies to address energy costs and environmental concerns.
To make the programme sustainable, the Minister said his Ministry will continue to work with NADDC to ensure that the right policies and conducive environment are put in place to promote the use of automotive gas powered vehicles (Trucks, Buses, Cars, Tricycles) in Nigeria.
A combination of rebates and incentives, according to him, would be adopted to encourage the use of auto-gas among commercial vehicles and private vehicle owners.