The Nigerian Senate has delivered a strong caution to President Bola Tinubu, urging him to avoid unlawful expenditures and advising the pursuit of a supplementary budget for the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) initiative, estimated at N100 billion. The Senate’s message was communicated by its Gas Committee, chaired by Senator Agom Jarigbe, who represents Cross River North.
CNG buses utilize Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as their fuel source, offering a cleaner-burning alternative to conventional gasoline or diesel fuel. They are recognized for their eco-friendliness due to their lower emissions compared to buses powered by petrol or diesel engines.
They are frequently employed in public transportation networks as a component of initiatives aimed at decreasing air pollution and lessening reliance on fossil fuels.
Agom Jarigbe, the chairman of the committee, stressed the urgency of the executive branch’s timely submission of a 2023 Supplementary Budget to the National Assembly to kickstart the Compressed Natural Gas project. This request follows President Tinubu’s recent announcement of measures designed to mitigate the effects of fuel subsidy removal on the Nigerian populace.
In his commendation of President Tinubu’s CNG initiative, Senator Jarigbe Jarigbe emphasized the imperative that any utilization of taxpayers’ funds connected to the CNG project must obtain the requisite approval from the National Assembly to ensure compliance with the law.
Additionally, he underscored the significance of allocating resources to support various facets of the gas value chain, encompassing CNG infrastructure, vehicles, workshops, and training programs aimed at fostering CNG adoption.
Senator Jarigbe said, “The President should not embark on extra-budgetary expenditure because it would be inconsistent with the provisions of the law.”
Moreover, Senator Jarigbe emphasized the National Assembly’s preparedness, guided by Senate President Senator Godswill Akpabio, to wholeheartedly back President Tinubu’s ambitious initiatives.
As the chairman of the Senate committee, he recommended the adoption of a 2023 supplementary budget as the most suitable avenue for financing the CNG project, steering away from the contentious ‘Ways and Means’ strategy employed by the prior administration, which had elicited concerns within the Central Bank of Nigeria.
During his Independence Day address, President Tinubu reaffirmed his dedication to easing the challenges experienced by the Nigerian populace. He specifically emphasized the introduction of more affordable and safer CNG buses as a substantial stride toward realizing this objective.
These buses are anticipated to function at a considerably lower cost compared to current fuel prices, consequently leading to more favorable transport fares.
President Tinubu further disclosed intentions to roll out fresh CNG conversion kits and set up training facilities and workshops across the nation, empowering transport operators and entrepreneurs.
The caution and appeal from the Senate for a supplementary budget underscore the significance of financial transparency and compliance with legal protocols in executing vital undertakings like the CNG project. President Tinubu’s vision for a more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable transportation system eagerly anticipates the essential legislative backing required to transform it into a reality.
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