The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Tuesday, directed the release of mass transit buses to ease the transportation challenges Nigerians are facing.
The president also thanked Nigerians for what he called their patience as the nation continues to witness economic and other challenges.
He also thanked members of the organised labour for their “maturity and patriotism.”
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President spoke at the virtual unveiling of the National Gas Expansion Programme and National Auto-gas Roll-out Initiative at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The statement was titled “Economy: President Buhari appreciates Nigerians for patience, urges more use of gas as alternative to petrol.”
Adesina quoted the President as saying “Let me now express my deep appreciation to Nigerians for their patience, and organised labour for its maturity and patriotism as we collectively navigate these global economic and other challenges.’’
Buhari urged Nigerians to embrace the use of gas as an alternative to fuel.
He noted that the natural gas resources, which Nigeria is endowed with have hitherto been used sub-optimally as a result of a dearth of gas processing facilities and infrastructural connectivity for effective and optimal domestic utilisation.
He said with a proven reserve of about 203 Trillion Cubic Feet and the additional upside of 600 TCF ranking Nigeria as the 9th in the world currently, there was the l need for domestic gas expansion and utilisation.
He also said the deregulation of the downstream sector had exposed many to price volatilities in the global market.
Buhari then said attention should be shifted to more affordable alternative for energy, especially with Nigeria’s heavy reserve.
He added, “Therefore, the roll-out of the National Gas Expansion Programme, Auto-gas initiative is coming at the right time, especially in light of global crude oil market fluctuations coupled with the full deregulation of the local PMS market.
“These developments have made it imperative to focus on gas as an alternative fuel to move Nigeria from the conventional dependence on white products for autos and prime-movers of industrial applications, to cleaner, more available, accessible and affordable energy source.
“The outcome will not only cushion the effect of the downstream deregulation that this government has to painfully implement, but also create new markets and enormous job opportunities for our people.’’
The President said the auto-gas initiative would lead to increased domestic gas utilisation and enrich the trajectory of national economic growth and development.
“I, therefore, encourage everyone to embrace gas in form of LPG, CNG and LNG as an alternative fuel for autos and other prime-movers.’
“The Minister of State Petroleum Resources is hereby directed to commence the process of hand over of mass transit buses to organised labour as part of our government’s pledge to continue providing support that will ease the transportation challenges Nigerians are facing at this time,” the President added.