Austin FC

In a bid to standardise and regulate the conversion of vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in Nigeria, the federal government, through the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), has initiated a certification process for CNG Conversion Workshops.

The move comes amidst concerns over market expansion, safety, and the proliferation of unregulated conversion centres across the country. 

Citing data from Autogas Africa, NADDC said there are currently over 120 CNG conversion centres with 466 skilled technicians operating across Nigeria. These workshops have the capacity to convert a minimum of two petrol vehicles to CNG per day, indicating a growing acceptance of CNG conversion in the market.

Director-general of NADDC, Joseph Osanipin, while addressing stakeholders in Abuja, said the engagement meeting was  aimed at enlightening them about the Council’s guidelines and requirements for accreditation and certification of CNG workshops.

Osanipin emphasised that the certification process would guarantee compliance with safety standards, with workshops meeting the necessary requirements and receiving accreditation.

 This accreditation would allow them access to CNG at gas stations.

According to him, the regulations cover various aspects of the conversion process, including the use of conversion kits, the conversion environment, and the qualifications of personnel involved. 

Osanipin said after the conversion, they would be given a QR Code and the code would go with every vehicle they have converted which would also be used to be served gas at the stations.

He warned that workshops which do not satisfy the basic requirements would not be certified by NADDC  to perform the conversion and would not be able to access CNG at gas stations.

He disclosed that a safety policy document on 80 standards and regulations that must be strictly adhered to by operators has been developed and approved by the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) to ensure CNG conversions were done safely and reliably.

Osanipin emphasised that the deployment of CNG buses and tricycles, along with the vision to get at least one million natural gas-propelled vehicles on Nigeria’s roads by 2027, would mark a significant energy transition in the country’s transportation industry. 

He stated, “As more vehicles, including trucks, run on natural gas, Nigeria will gradually phase out the use of more expensive diesel and PMS.” 

According to him, Nigeria has abundant natural gas resources in at least 30 out of the 36 states of the federation, making it feasible to achieve this transition.

He said the initiative aligns with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s launch of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (P-CNG-i) last year, aimed at promoting CNG as an alternative transportation fuel following the removal of fuel subsidies.