Nigerians Heave A Sigh Of Relief As Siemens Commence Implementation Of Nigeria Electricity Roadmap

By Elizabeth Chukwuma

Nigerians who may have lost hope of improved supply of electricity in the country under President Muhammadu Buhari’s due to the frequent collapse of the national grid, can now heave a sigh of relief. Recall that in  signing a $2 billion  agreement  for the Nigerian  Electrification Roadmap  in July 2019,  with the German firm, Siemens ,  to increase Nigeria’s electricity generation to 25,000 megawatts, the Nigerian government was optimistic that the Germany power giant, would achieve the target by 2025, which is  an interval of six years.

The $2 billion Siemens deal was said to have been structured in three phases. The phases, according to a source in the Power ministry are expected to take the national grid operational capacity from the present less than 5,000mw achieved in 2021, to 1000mw.

Hajiya Ahmed: Minister Of Finance, Budget And National Planning

Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning  had said that the Nigerian government  would pay the $2 billion, contract sum for the project  from the signature bonus account with  the negotiated sum  of N15,206,166 euros, offshore works, and N1.7 billion  , onshore works, which was said to have been approved  as the country’s 15% counterpart  funding  for the concessionary loan.   

It was not surprising why the Nigerian government had made an initial payment of $100, which translates to about N41.6 billion, when converted to naira using the official exchange of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, as at the time the deal was struck. The 15% counterpart funding for the $2billion project is expected to save the country $1 billion annually by 2025, according to officials of the Power ministry.

Abubakar Aliyu, an Engineer and minister of Power, had said that the government made the100 million down payment to activate the contract, so that the power deficit, which has militated against proper servicing of the industry will come to an end.

Aliyu: Minister Of Power

This may have encouraged the relevant agencies as directed by Buhari, to conclude the necessary procurement and contracting processes to kick-start the phase I, of the project.  The fallout was that the Finance, Budget and National Planning ministry, established and capitalized on a project SPV in order to engage Siemens to commence the pre-engineering and financing work streams.

Going by the agreement with he Germany firm, the electricity generation situation of the country have already started experiencing an upward leap  in September 2022,  when the electricity  equipment  like Transformers and mobile power substations  that had been ordered  by the Germany firm begin to arrive the country from Germany.

Even Kenny Anuwe, the Managing Director, Federal government Power, had boasted that by the time the new transformers and other Power equipment are installed, by the Germany firm that there would be a major improvement in the supply of electricity in the country.

According to Anuwe, the Presidential Power Iniative, PPI, phase I, seeks ‘’to modernize, rehabilitate and expand the national grid by investing in the electricity value chain, including generation, transmission and distribution systems of the power sector’’.  Note that Aliyu, the Nigeria Power minister had visited Germany to get approval for the mobile substations and transformers, which were said to have been approved since December 021.

 As a prelude to ensuring an uninterrupted power supply in the country, he has given his words that the Germany firm would start the installation of the transformers and substations that have been purchased for the project across the country starting from this month of September 2022 right through to December, 2022.

The Yobe state born politician had told those that cares to listen that ‘’there is no cause to worry about the technical competence of Siemens to deliver on the $2 billion project as at when do as the Germany firm has the requisite experience and had made adequate provision for significant amount of equipment in order to deliver on the Nigerian government power objectives.

Given that the German firm, which had won the multi-billion naira PPI, project, had kept to the terms of the contract, notwithstanding the initial set back, may have informed  why Femi Adesina, Special Assistant  to the President on Media and Publicity ,  could beat his chest that ‘’’the power situation in the country  has improved’’.

Appearing on Channels Television on Tuesday, September, 20, 2022,  an elated Adesina had said that  ‘’the power situation  in Nigeria has  improved  under the Buhari Administration compared  to what was obtainable  during the 16 years rule of the People’s Democratic Party,  PDP, now the main leading opposition party in the country.  

Siemens Mega Transformers

Given an inside information, he had said that the government’s agreement   with Siemens had resulted in ‘’some transformers and power substations coming into the country as part of a bid to ensure a better power supply’’.  Adesina, the Media aide to the Katsina state born Nigerian President who could not hide his feelings had admitted that Nigerians have every reason to worry about the Siemen’s  $2 billion  contract because it was slow at the initial stage, giving people the impression that  there is nothing is happening in the nation’s power sector.

He may have spoken the mind of the Nigerian President when disclosed that in the last couple of weeks, there have been massive transportation of different types of transformers and other electrical equipment coming into the country from Germany.

Siemens Substations

He had said  that ‘‘the Nigerian President ‘‘ is determined  that before he leaves off in May 29, 2023,  there will a significant progress in delivering  on his mandate of improved electricity  and power supply to Nigerians’’. He had said that the President had given his words’ ‘‘that whatever it will take to do it, he would do’’.

True to his words, there have been improved power supply in the country since the Germany firm kick -started implementating of the PPI, deal, by replacing the old transformers and substations that have outlived their usefulness across the country.

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