The end appears in sight for the perennial power outage in the country as the federal government is billed to take delivery of 22 power transformers and mobile stations from Germany between November this year and May next year. President Muhammadu Buhari gave an indication to this effect on Thursday when he played host to officials of Siemens Energy AG at State House, Abuja.
Buhari expressed delight at the notable progress in implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI). He disclosed that the first batch of two power transformers already delivered by Siemens would be inaugurated in November.
Buhari said, “I have been reliably assured that 10 power transformers and 10 mobile substations would have been completely delivered and installed by May 2023.
“This is in spite of production challenges and constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has severely impacted global production and supply chain.”
The president pledged the dedication of the federal government to the partnership with Siemens and the German government to improve electricity generation in Nigeria. He urged top officials of Siemens not to relent in ensuring that government’s commitment to Nigerians in delivering the PPI was fulfilled.
Buhari told the president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Siemens Energy, Dr. Christian Bruch; CEO of Siemens Africa, Nadia Haakansson; and CEO of Siemens Nigeria, Mr. Seun Suleiman, that the outcome of the collaboration between Nigeria and Siemens would deliver critical business enablers and opportunities to engage young enterprising Nigerians in various endeavours.
The president welcomed the training of 200 Nigerian engineers on network development studies under the PPI, saying it represents “a very important up-skilling and knowledge transfer process”.
Buhari added that he looked forward to the 5,000 engineers that would be trained by the end of the programme.
Recalling his promise to Nigerians at the inception of his administration to improve electricity supply by resolving capacity deficit across the sector’s value chain, the president lauded the German government, which under the former Chancellor, Angela Merkel, supported the country, leading to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Siemens.
He also thanked incumbent German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for Germany’s continued support for the PPI.
Buhari told the Siemens officials, “A plan to deliver capacity improvements of 2,000 megawatts in the transmission-distribution interface is now firmly the focus of PPI Phase I.
“In April 2022, the Minister of Power briefed me on the outcome of his visit to Germany, where he held meetings with Siemens executives.
“That visit was fruitful in emphasising the need to expedite delivery of the pilot PPI project, elements of which have started arriving in the country.
“The minister also mentioned that you, Dr. Bruch, will pay a visit to Nigeria, and we are glad that you are with us today.
“The PPI remains a priority project for our administration and Nigerians believe in the value that the Siemens’ brand can deliver.
“On our part, nothing is spared to ensure we improve the lives and livelihoods of our citizens.”
Buhari thanked the government of Germany for approving Euler Hermes to provide cover for the financing of the PPI pilot project, stating that this will serve as a template for the subsequent phases.
He acknowledged that the overall frameworks for technical and commercial arrangements were being concluded, stressing, “However, what I would like to see is that we attain completion of the entire transaction process by December 2022. This will entrench the mandate of the PPI in full committal terms.”
Speaking earlier, the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, thanked the president for the vision of PPI, adding that Nigerians would be thankful to him for a long time after leaving office “because the power sector will be revitalised”.
Aliyu said Siemens was one of the world’s best in power “and will surely deliver”.
Speaking, also, Bruch sympathised with Nigerians affected by the current devastating flood. He said his team was fully committed to the PPI “and we will push forward in the weeks and months ahead, as we need to move the process faster”.
He promised to continue with trainings and improvement of capacities, adding that despite the coming general election in Nigeria, “The power initiative will continue, as we are fully committed, and will accelerate the process.”