The Chairman of Zip-Tech Energy, Dr Adebowale Ologbenla, has stated that the price of compressed natural gas in Nigeria is too expensive.

He told in an exclusive interview that selling a kilogramme of CNG at the rate of N250 was unaffordable, saying the rate should be N50/kg.

According to Ologbenla, the country has been flaring the same natural gas for many years, wondering why gas being wasted should now be sold at a high price.

“How can you sell CNG at N240, N250, when we have been flaring it since 1947? Why should you be selling it at that rate? It should be sold at N50 per kg.

“CNG is not imported. CNG is from your soakaway, from your dump waste sites and oil wells. We just burn it. So, it should be sold at N50/kg maximum,” he said.

Ologbenla disclosed that many would not want to convert their vehicles to CNG because of the high price.

“Converting a car like a Corolla will cost about half a million naira. If you are still buying gas to power the same car at N250, N300 or more, people cannot afford it. But if people can buy the CNG a bit cheaper, the economy will blossom. If we have been burning this gas for all these years, why should we now be buying it at an expensive rate? Nobody should hide under the cost of investment. CNG should not be more than N50/kg,” he noted.

 He blamed the lack of pipelines to transport CNG for the limited CNG stations across the country.

“You have to go to Ogun, Ore or Lokoja to load your CNG with very heavy trucks that can break down the roads. The trucks are like tubes, heavier than the petrol tankers. You compress the gas, and then take it to your stations.

“But our strategy is different. We take it not as CNG. We look for LNG vehicles. We want to be taking it as LNG and convert it, then we depressurise it, regassify it into CNG to sell at the stations,” he explained.

Ologbenla agreed that the CNG business was capital intensive, but he wondered why people were looking up to government if the plan was not to embezzle.

“If you know the business is profitable, you will invest in it. If we can do it, why are established stations not doing it? It is because they don’t know the science. If they know the science, they will do it,” he argued.

He added that his organisation had trained many Nigerians in how to generate gas from their soakaways and be energy-independent.

“If we want to help the society, we should go gas. We have trained people in how to get natural gas from soakaways and farm wastes. You can convert your soakaway to gas for cooking, for driving your cars and everything you need as far as gas is concerned. And that is the trajectory we should go.

“Now, it is too expensive to buy CNG in Nigeria, even after converting your car. It is better for you to source the gas independently from your soakaway. We are giving people the knowledge to be able to do that, and it is very cheap. To be totally energy-independent is very cheap. You can power your home from the gas in your soakaway. This is what the developed nations have been doing. We can’t develop without CNG,” he submitted.