The Federal Government must consider subsidising the cost of conversion of petrol cars to autogas to avoid piling more misery on the masses, the National President of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), William Akporeha, has said.
The cost of converting a car from petrol usage to autogas is put at around N400, 000. Speaking to The Guardian on the sidelines of the unveiling of the National Gas Expansion Programme and National Auto-gas roll-out initiative in Abuja, Akporeha argued that the low minimum wage, which is less than $80, amid rising inflation has made life more unbearable for the common man.
He added: “We know that a worker that earns N30, 000 and using a jalopy will not be able to afford N400, 000 conversation cost. So, obviously, labour might urge the Federal Government to offer some form of subsidy for the conversion of cars to autogas.”
He also hinted that both the conversion price and the need to extend the conversable cars downwards from the 2010 manufacturing date are part of the issues that would be put on the table at the ongoing Federal Government and labour negotiation.
He said: “I would not want to pre-empt the meeting that is coming up on Monday, December 7, 2020. But so far, the government has tried to put some things in place which we expected to have been put in place before now. The other day, the Federal Government inaugurated 5,000 barrels of crude oil capacity modular refinery.
“Now, we are seeing this gas programme again. We need to get to the table first where we will be able to analyse all what the government has done so far. I must say that this is not enough to bring down the prices of petroleum products. The government needs to do more by providing more of these types of outlets nationwide and as speedily as possible.”