By Chesa Chesa
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday announced Federal Government’s plans to increase electricity supply in the country from about the current 4,000 megawatts to 25,000 megawatts by 2025.
Speaking during the signing of an agreement with German company, Siemens, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, President Buhari challenged the firm to collaborate with electricity distribution and transmission companies in Nigeria to achieve 7,000 mega watts by 2021; additional 11,000 mega watts by 2023; and overall grid capacity to 25,000 megawatts.
The arrangement between the Federal Government and Siemens is a fallout of a meeting between President Buhari and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel on August 31, 2018.
According to Buhari, government is also committed to development of the Mambilla hydro electric and various solar projects in order to boost general power infrastructure.
Buhari said that “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 one and two 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.
“With our 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.
“This project will not be the solution to all our problems in the power sector. However, I am confident that it has the potential to address a significant amount of the challenges we have faced for decades.”
Buhari said that there had been many attempts at solving the electricity problem in Nigeria unfortunately by previous governments exploring State funded solutions through the “ill prepared” National Independent Power Projects.
According to him, despite Nigeria’s over 13,000 megawatts of power generation capacity, only an average of 4,000 megawatts reliably reaches consumers.
In his remarks, the Global Chief Executive Officer of Siemens, Joe Kaeser, said the road map would enable Nigeria deliver on power in the first phase of 7,000, second phase up to 11,000 and third phase 25,000 megawatts.
“I’m very honoured that we were able to sign this road map today in the presence of President and our partners. I will personally make sure that this will be the big success of Nigeria, Siemens and our partners in the country”, he stated.