SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari and Siemens global head, Joe Kaeser, sealed on Monday sealed a contract for electricity power out put to at least 11,000 megawatts.
The signing of the contract with a Memorandum of Understanding on took place at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Buhari noted at the brief ceremony that “only an average of 4,000 megawatts reliably reaches consumers”.
According to him, Nigeria would work with Siemens to achieve “7,000 megawatts of reliable power supply by 2021 and 11,000 megawatts by 2023”.
The President lamented, however, that despite the abundance of natural gas, hydro and solar resources for power generation, the country was still on the journey to achieving reliable, affordable and quality electricity supply necessary for economic growth, industrialization and poverty alleviation.
His said:, “there have been many attempts at solving the electricity problem in our country. Previous Governments have explored State funded solutions through the ill prepared National Independent Power Projects. 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. Despite over 13,000 megawatts of power generation capacity, only an average of 4,000 megawatts reliably reaches 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.
“This is why I directed my team to ask Siemens and our Nigerian stakeholders to first focus on fixing the transmission and distribution infrastructure – especially around economic centres where jobs are created.
“Whilst it was evident that more needed to be done to upgrade the sub-transmission and distribution system, our Government was initially reluctant to intervene as the distribution sector is already privatized.
“I am therefore very pleased with the positive feedback from private sector owners of the distribution companies, who have all endorsed Government’s intervention to engage Siemens on this end-to-end plan to modernise the electricity grid.
“Our goal is simply to deliver electricity to Nigerian businesses and homes. 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”.
In his remarks, the Global Chief Executive Officer of Siemens, Joe Kaeser, said the road map will enable the country deliver the country’s capacity of power in the first phase of 7,000, second phase up to 11,000 and third phase 25,000 megawatts.
He explained that the project will significantly enhance the country’s power supply and get it on the next industrial phase.
“We believe we will all benefit together significantly, the people of Nigeria and of course Siemen as a company.
“I’m very honoured that we were able to sign this road map today in the presence of Mr. President and our partners. I will personally make sure that this will be the big success of Nigeria, Siemen and our partners in the country.”
On the cost implication of the project and timeframe for completing it, Kaeser said: “we have really talked about solutions and how it can bring power to the people literally, from generation to transmission and effective distribution. Yes, we have been talking money at this time because this about a long term partnership and is a road map which we are going to work all the way till 2025.
“The first phase is supposed to be done by 2021, second phase till end 2022 and the final phase by 2025.”
For a better society