President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday unveiled a new power target for the country, following the signing of an electricity road map agreement between the Federal Government and German-based Siemens. The signing of the implementation agreement was held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), Dr. Alex Okoh signed on behalf of the federal government and the Chief Executive Officer of the Siemens, Mr. Joe Kaeser signed for the firm.
The deal, our correspondent reports, was the product of a meeting President Buhari held with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel on August 31, 2018. Speaking after the signing, the president said the government’s goal was to deliver electricity to Nigerian businesses and homes. The president said: “My challenge to Siemens, our partner investors in the Distribution Companies, the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the Electricity Regulator is to work hard to achieve 7,000 megawatts of reliable power supply by 2021 and 11,000 megawatts by 2023 – in phases 1 and 2 respectively.
“After these transmission and distribution system bottlenecks have been fixed, we will seek – in the third and final phase – to drive generation capacity and overall grid capacity to 25,000 megawatts.” He said with the strong commitment to the development of Mambilla Hydroelectric and the various solar projects under development across the country, the long-term power generation capacity will ensure adequate energy mix and sustainability in the appropriate balance between urban and rural electrification. “Our intention is to ensure that our cooperation is structured under a Government-to-Government framework.
No middlemen will be involved, so that we can achieve value for money for Nigerians. We also insist that all products be manufactured to high quality German and European standards and competitively priced. “It is our hope that as the power situation improves, we will improve investor confidence, create jobs, reduce the cost of doing business and encourage more economic growth in Nigeria,” he said. The president said “Previous governments have explored state funded solutions through the ill-prepared National Independent Power Projects (NIPP). They also explored the installation of large emergency power projects. There was also the partial privatization of the power generation and distribution sectors.
“These various interventions to solving the electricity problem have yielded an imbalance between the amount of power generated and the amount available for consumers.” He said despite over 13,000 megawatts of power generation capacity, only an average of 4,000 megawatts reach consumers.
“Now, we have an excellent opportunity to address this challenge. This government’s priority was to stabilise the power generation and gas supply sector through the Payment Assurance Facility, which led to a peak power supply of 5,222 MW. Nonetheless, the constraints remained at the transmission and distribution systems.”
In an interview after the signing of the pact, the CEO of Siemens, said the partnership will enable the country enhance its power delivery capacity significantly. He said the power target will lead the country to the next industrial phase. Also speaking to newsmen, the Director General of BPE described Siemens as a credible partner. “If you look at the amount of losses that is being experienced in the entire power sector, they are huge.
“That is why we welcome this intervention and we believe that within the timelines that have been directed by Mr. President, we will be able to significantly improve power supply in the country,” he said.