Power critical to Nigeria’s industrial development – Buhari




 By Ikenna Omeje


President Muhammed Buhari, on Friday, said that the power sector remains critical to Nigeria’s industrial development aspiration.

The President made this known while addressing the nation on June 12 2020 during the commemoration of Nigeria’s Democracy day celebration.

He said that his government is currently executing some critical projects through the  transmission, rehabilitation and expansion programme, including the Alaoji to Onitsha, Delta Power Station to Benin and Kaduna to Kano; 330kv DC 62km line between Birnin Kebbi and Kamba;Lagos/Ogun Transmission Infrastructure Project; Abuja Transmission Ring Scheme; and Northern Corridor Transmission Project.

“The Power Sector remains very critical to meeting our industrial development aspirations and we are tackling the challenges that still exist in the delivery of power through different strategies.

“We are executing some critical projects through the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme including the Alaoji to Onitsha, Delta Power Station to Benin and Kaduna to Kano, 330kv DC 62km line between Birnin Kebbi and Kamba,

Lagos/Ogun Transmission Infrastructure Project, Abuja Transmission Ring Scheme and Northern Corridor Transmission Project.

“Our agreement with Siemens will transmit and distribute a total of 11,000 Megawatts by 2023, to serve our electricity needs,” the President said.

Since Nigeria gained independence, power generation, transmission and distribution has remained a challenge.

The Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism,  Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had said on May 29 in a press conference, that Nigeria’s current power generation capacity is more than 13,000 megawatts, but noted that only an average of 3,400 megawatts reaches electricity consumers in the country.

In July 2019, the Federal Government had signed Electricity Road Map agreement between it and German-based Company, Siemens. The agreement aims to achieve 7,000 megawatts, 11,000 megawatts and 25,000 megawatts of electricity for the country by 2021, 2023 and 2025 respectively. The President said the project will serve the electricity needs of Nigerians.

Siemens agreement is part of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI). PPI is a power infrastructure upgrade and modernization Programme agreed to by Nigerian government and Siemens AG, with the support of the German Government.

Under the PPI, the Nigerian government will on behalf of the other shareholders in the Electricity Distribution Companies,  invest in infrastructure upgrades in the form of improved payment systems, distribution substations, transformers, protection devices, smart meters, transmission lines, and so on.

The funding for the PPI will be secured under concessionary terms (up to 3-year moratorium and 12-year repayment at concessionary interest rates) through the German Euler Hermes cover, which the Nigeria government will on-lend as a convertible loan to the other shareholders in the DisCos.

Buhari last month directed the Ministries of Power and Finance, and the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to conclude the engagement with Siemens AG to commence the pre-engineering and concessionary financing aspects of the PPI. He also approved the release of funding for the first part of Phase 1 of the PPI, to kick-off the pre-engineering and concession financing work streams.

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