Tinubu is leading the mandatory procurement of CNG-powered vehicles by ministries and agencies

The fifth meeting of the Nigerian Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the year 2024, which held on Monday at the State House, Abuja, under the chairmanship of President Bola Tinubu, will continue on Tuesday.

Monday’s Council meeting, which was scheduled to take place approximately seven weeks after the last one on March 25, 2024, was adjourned until Tuesday to complete deliberations on the meeting’s agenda.

Briefing journalists after the meeting at the Council Chambers, Minister of Information and National Guidance, Mohammed Idris, said far-reaching decisions were taken during the meeting, adding that deliberations will continue at 12 noon on Tuesday.

According to him: “The meeting has not yet been completed. The council meeting will continue tomorrow. That is why there will be no press conference today. Many far-reaching decisions are being made and the conclusions will be announced to you tomorrow. Thank you”.

Presidential spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale issued a press release later on Monday saying:

In line with his pledge to ensure energy security, increase utility services and reduce high fuel costs, President Tinubu has mandated the mandatory purchase of compressed natural gas vehicles by all ministries, departments and agencies.

The President’s directive also furthers Nigeria’s efforts to transition to cleaner energy as CNG vehicles produce lower emissions even as they provide a more affordable alternative to Nigeria’s energy consumers.

Speaking to members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the State House on Monday, President Tinubu affirmed that there is no going back in the energy reforms initiated by his administration.

According to him, “This nation will not progress if we continue to dance in the same place. We have the will to drive the implementation of CNG adoption across the country, and we as government officials must lead by example in leading the way to that prosperous future we are trying to realize for our people. It starts with us, and by seeing that we mean business, Nigerians will follow our lead.”

The President further ordered the rejection of all memos submitted by members of the FEC seeking the purchase of traditional gasoline-dependent vehicles, and directed the concerned members of the council to go back and diligently search move towards value-driven purchasing of CNG-compliant vehicles.

President Tinubu, according to the statement, remains committed to effectively harnessing the country’s gas potential, easing the burden of high transportation costs on the masses and improving the living standards of all Nigerians.

FEC has ordered that all new vehicles, generators and three-wheelers procured by the government and its agencies should be powered by CNG, solar energy or electric.

According to the top official who spoke on condition of anonymity, the order was one of the most important decisions taken by the council before the marathon proceedings were adjourned after more than four hours until today.

Affected by the order are fresh requests from the Nigeria Customs Service, the Shipper’s Council, an agency of the Marine and Blue Economy that had sought permission to purchase hundreds of operational vehicles, which could run on petrol.

The council approved the requests and said they must be CNG vehicles.

A request from the Federal Capital Territory to purchase gasoline generators was also approved, but the council insisted they must be powered by CNG or solar energy.

The government also expects agencies to start converting petrol or diesel vehicles or generators to CNG.

The Tinubu government, which launched the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (PCNGi) last October, plans to roll out about 800 CNG buses, 4,000 CNG three-wheelers and 100 electric buses in the first phase in the coming weeks.

By taking the decision on Monday, the government showed its willingness to make an energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

The government believes its policies will unlock new investments in renewable energy, solar panels and lithium batteries.

It also believes that the policy will be climate-friendly and reduce inflation as it will reduce costs by around 60 percent.

The FEC had observed a minute’s silence at the start of Monday’s meeting in honor of two former ministers; former Minister of Education, Professor Fabian Osuji, and former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, before they went into session behind closed doors.

Osuji, who died in February at the age of 82, was Minister of Education during the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, where he played a key role in initiating policies that had a positive impact on the sector.

Onu, who died at the age of 72, was appointed Minister of Science and Technology during the tenure of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Council meeting was attended by Vice President Kashim Shettima; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume; Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila; the head of the Federation’s civil service, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan; and most other members of the Council.

Earlier, President Tinubu sworn in two additional federal commissioners of the National Population Commission (NPC).

Those who took their oath of office before the President are Fasuwa Johnson Johnson (Ogun State) and Amidu Tadese Raheem (Osun State).

Their swearing-in came weeks after 17 of their colleagues took the oath of office in March 2024.

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

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