The Edo State government has said it would collaborate with automobile manufacturing company, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM), in converting vehicles using Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
This is coming few days after the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it can no longer pay subsidy on fuel.
Godwin Obaseki, Edo State governor, who made this known when he played host to the chairman of IVM, Innocent Chukwuma, at the weekend in Benin, said there is a bigger push to convert vehicles using PMS to run on gas.
Obaseki further said partnership with Innoson to train young men and women to do the conversion is expected to generate about 1,000 job opportunities for the youths.
“We can train youths on how to do this as we can’t continue with subsidy. Edo is a transport hub with market opportunities and Innoson Motors has chosen Edo State and decided to use the opportunity to train young men and women who will maintain these vehicles,” Obaseki said.
He noted that one of the biggest problems with automobile care in Nigeria is maintenance, saying, “It is difficult to find qualified people and the right parts of vehicles, but he is offering all these services.”
He commended the IVM chairman for pioneering car manufacturing in Nigeria and overcoming the challenges in the automobile industry.
“We are developing an Industrial park with capacity of accommodating you and as the partnership progresses, together we will create an automobile market and make it the biggest in Africa. I appreciate your offer to help us train people relating to fixing vehicles,” he said.
On his part, Chukwuma thanked the governor for creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive in the state.
He said the youths will also be trained on panel beating, auto-mechanic, painting and electricals, among others.
“We are ready to partner with the Edo State Government in converting PMS cars to CNG using the availability of electricity. We are ready to support the conversion of PMS vehicles to CNG in full as it is the only way the economy of Nigeria will survive.
“Nigerians are buying my vehicles. The vehicles and parts are cheaper because they are made in Nigeria,” he said.