Despite assurances by the Federal Government that the conversion of vehicles from petrol to gas would be done for Nigerians free of charge, conversion centres have said that car owners are expected to pay between N250,000 and N350,000 for the service.
The Federal Government, as part of its commitment to provide alternative energy for Nigerians had unveiled the National Gas Expansion Programme and Auto-gas roll out initiative in 2020.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva had during the unveiling of the initiative noted that the autogas programme iis an alternative which will afford Nigerians a cheaper and cleaner option to fuel consumption.
Sylva, had stated that the government’s target was to convert one million vehicles from petrol to gas usage by 2021 and at no cost.
He said had said, “We are going to give out free conversion to one million cars, if you want to convert your car, go to any conversion centre and it will be done for free for the first one million car owners.”
However, the government had in recent times been going back and forth as regards pricing of the conversion service.
For instance, Justice Derefeka, Technical Adviser on Gas Business and Policy Implementation to the Minister said that the conversion cost to be borne by vehicle owners would be between N200,000 and N250,000.
He had explained that the cost of conversion varies according to the size of cylinder that will be fixed on the vehicle, as the autogas is cost effective compared to petrol.
“The cost varies. So in terms of cost implications, it depends on the cylinder of the vehicle and of course for a typical SUV cylinder, it is a bit higher but on the average, it is around N200,000 to N250, 000 and this is for a 4-cylinder vehicle, but it becomes a little bit higher for a 6-cylinder SUV vehicle”, he said.
Shortly after this, Derefeka clarified that his earlier position was wrong, stating that the program is expected to be free for Nigerians.
Making the clarification vis his Twitter handle he had said, “I granted an interview where I stated that the auto conversion of vehicles to run on gas will amount to N250,000 and Nigerians will need to pay for that. That statement is not correct, it’s wrong.”
However, a visit by THE WHISTLER to an NNPC conversion centre in Lugbe, Abuja, showed that customers are being charged between N250,000 and N350,000 for the service.
An official in the outlet while confirming that the conversion exercise has kicked off with conversion of government owned vehicle, said in confidence that private car owners are expected to pay up to N350,000 for the service.
According to him, the price varies according to the cylinder, adding that the conversion of a 4-cylinder sized vehicles cost N250,000 while the cost of converting a 6-cylinder vehicle could be as high as N350,000.
He said, “We have started the conversion exercise, we have been working on government vehicles since commencement. But for a private car owners, it is not free.
“The amount that we charge differs, depending on the vehicle and cylinder type. For a 4-cylinder gas, it cost N250,000 while the 6-cylinder is N350,000.
“If you want to convert a Toyota Sienna vehicle, you would need a big-6-cylinder and the cost is also N350,000.
“We are opened to customers any day of the week, and we also have the gas station here for filling and refilling.”