Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Emerges as a Game-Changer in Nigeria’s Fuel Development Landscape

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By Cecilia Attah

The recent removal of fuel subsidy in Nigeria, which resulted in an increase in the pump price of petrol up to N700, has led to renewed interest in compressed natural gas (CNG) as a more affordable and environmentally friendly alternative fuel, this situation is setting the stage for petrol and compressed natural gas (CNG) to compete favourably

The Government incentives for the use of CNG in Nigeria are aimed at reducing high transport costs and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently, during the Independence Speech, the President announced the introduction of new CNG conversion kits to enhance affordability in the public transport sector, He emphasised the importance of lowering transport costs to boost the economy and the positive impact of CNG-powered buses on transport fares

In his own words, ‘’Making the economy more robust by lowering transport costs will be key. In this regard, we have opened a new chapter in public transportation through the deployment of cheaper, safer Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses across the nation. These buses will operate at a fraction of current fuel prices, positively affecting transport fares.

 New CNG conversion kits will start coming in very soon as all hands are on deck to fast-track the usually lengthy procurement process. We are also setting up training facilities and workshops across the nation to train and provide new opportunities for transport operators and entrepreneurs. This is a groundbreaking moment where, as a nation, we embrace more efficient means to power our economy. In making this change, we also make history.’’

Governors in several states have also expressed their commitment to CNG adoption, with Edo and Gombe state governments leading the way by ordering CNG buses to support their free transportation programs in their states.

CNG offers a win-win solution for Nigeria because it provides an affordable alternative to petrol-powered vehicles, and it also helps alleviate the financial burden on Nigerian families. On the other hand, it advances the country’s environmental commitments by promoting cleaner transportation and reducing harmful emissions.

Some may think of cooking gas as gas introduced into Nigeria to power cars, but no, cooking gas and methane are not the same.

Cooking gas generally refers to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which consists mainly of methane and butane. It is a flammable hydrocarbon gas used for cooking and heating homes. It is stored in liquid form under pressure in cylinders or tanks.

CNG, in turn, which is methane, means compressed natural gas, is natural gas that is compressed to a pressure between 200 and 248 bar to be stored in a tank and used primarily as vehicle fuel; although CNG can be used for cooking in some case, it requires specially designed stoves and ovens.

However, adoption rates are still low, and concerns about safety and cost implications remain.

The introduction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative fuel in Nigeria has positive environmental impacts because it is a cleaner and more environmentally friendly fuel than traditional fuels such as diesel and gasoline, its use can reduce the amount of pollutants released into the air and thus improve air quality, this is particularly important in cities like Lagos, which experience high levels of air pollution.

Furthermore, CNG can also reduce Nigeria’s carbon footprint as it emits fewer greenhouse gases than conventional fuels, a crucial and important step towards mitigating the effects of climate change.

In terms of cost, the comparison between the cost of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and that of conventional fuels depends on various factors such as the distance covered, the type of vehicle and the current market price of the fuel. however, CNG is generally considered to be cheaper than conventional fuels such as gasoline and diesel.

According to a report by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), CNG costs up to 40% cheaper than petrol and diesel. In fact, CNG is produced locally and is not subject to the same import costs as traditional fuels, additionally, CNG-powered vehicles have lower maintenance costs due to simpler engines and cleaner fuel-burning, this reduced cost of CNG helps alleviate the financial burden on Nigerian families, especially during these trying times

As part of the benefits, the adoption of CNG vehicles in Nigeria has the potential to create numerous domestic employment opportunities, spur economic growth, aid local manufacturing with cheaper electricity, and reduce the strain on foreign exchange reserves for US dollars. This is because the Nigerian CNG industry is a viable alternative to conventional gasoline and diesel fuels, which are typically imported and require foreign currency to purchase.

By promoting the use of CNG, Nigeria can strengthen its economy and support local industries, and this can reduce dependence on imported fuels.

CNG fuel storage tanks are safer than gasoline or diesel tanks due to their durability and reduced risk of accidental release. Additionally, CNG disperses more quickly into the air, lowering the threat of fire or explosion on the ground.

While the introduction of CNG in Nigeria holds great promise, there are still some challenges and considerations that need to be resolved.

The availability of CNG vehicles in Nigeria is currently limited, for the success of the initiative, it will be crucial to promote the manufacturing and importation of CNG-compatible vehicles.

Converting a vehicle to run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) can be expensive, which discourages many consumers.

The development of CNG infrastructure needs to be widespread and effective as there are currently few CNG filling stations to provide consumers with convenient access to filling stations across the country, the government can invest in this development

Public awareness campaigns are essential to inform citizens about the benefits of CNG and the importance of switching to cleaner fuels, this can be done through various channels such as social media, billboards, and public service announcements.

Adequate safety measures and training must be implemented to ensure that the handling and use of CNG are safe for both consumers and operators.

However, the Nigerian government has taken steps to promote the adoption of CNG as a fuel by offering a range of incentives. These include exemptions on customs duty and VAT exemptions for CNG conversion kits, construction of CNG filling stations, rebates and subsidies, Installment-based payments for conversions, and partnerships with gas companies.

These incentives will encourage more Nigerians to switch to CNG as a fuel source, reducing the country’s reliance on conventional petrol and diesel fuels.


The introduction of CNG as an alternative fuel in Nigeria has the potential to revolutionize the country’s transportation sector. With its cost savings, energy security, environmental benefits, domestic employment opportunities, and safety, CNG is a viable alternative to conventional gasoline and diesel fuels.

To encourage mass adoption of CNG, The Nigerian government, with support from other sectors and stakeholders, should reduce high conversion costs and provide incentives such as free servicing and maintenance for some time. This will make the transition to CNG more accessible and affordable.

As Nigeria continues to develop its CNG infrastructure, promote vehicle conversions, and raise public awareness, the country is well-positioned to reduce emissions, enhance energy security, and reap the economic benefits of this cleaner alternative fuel source.

With ongoing commitment and support from both the government and private sector, Nigeria can pave the way towards a cleaner, greener, more sustainable, more prosperous and economically resilient energy future.



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