Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has said fueling stations for Compressed Natural Gas, CNG, would be positioned along bus routes across the state.
The governor, who made this known in an interview with newsmen at the arcade ground of the Governor’s Office, shortly after inspecting the first successfully converted diesel/petrol buses to CNG, noted that the positioning of the CNG fuel stations along bus routes would ensure the sustainability and smooth running of the project.
He said the abundance of gas in the state was a major factor that would aid the successful transition, adding that his administration was currently looking at how to convert close to 2000 buses at the expense of the state government.
Governor Abiodun said: “Obviously as we proceed, we will be positioning our fueling centres on the bus routes, conveniently located so that the buses can refill from time to time.
“Luckily for us in Ogun State, we have an abundance of gas. Ogun State has a crisscross of pipelines, be it Epe, be it the West Africa gas pipeline, that explains why we have a proliferation of industries in Ogun State.
“So today, this bus has been successfully converted, and the conversion of other buses is also in progress. The plan is to first convert the state-owned buses and then begin the conversation of all mass transit buses that are even owned by the private sector.
“We will be converting the buses at our expense. If we don’t do that, the owners of the buses will not be able to afford the cost of the conversion. So, the state has decided to take on that cost and find a way to amortize the expense over so many years.
“We are already thinking of how many gangs we need to have and how quickly we can complete the conversion of close to maybe 2000 buses in the state.”
He also emphasise that his administration would in the next three weeks launch its E-mobility programme, saying “alongside that, within the next two to three weeks, we will be launching our E-mobility program, which is a program that aims to swap all our petrol-dependent motorcycles and tricycles with electricity-powered ones that would be powered by rechargeable batteries.
“In another month, you will begin to see more electricity-powered motorcycles and tricycles in our state. This way, gradually, over the next three to four months, our people can begin to enjoy being moved from one point to another at fares that were obtained before deregulation.”
Abiodun noted that old buses operating in the state would gradually be phased out as they got older.
“This is a journey, the ultimate aim is to have buses that will be powered by electricity. However, we appreciate the fact that we have relatively new buses.
“We have commercial buses out there that may not be so new, but are still road worthy. We cannot just wake up one day and scrap all those buses. We must transit from those buses that are currently burning diesel and petrol to those that would be powered by electricity.
“The plan is we convert the current ones to use gas and we now begin to gradually face them out. As they age, we face them out and replace them with electric powered buses, whilst we roll out the required infrastructure that they would require, charging stations and uninterrupted power supply,” he added.