The Federal Government said that it had kick-started the Nigeria-Siemens programme with the release of $100 million to the German company under the first phase of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) which would increase power supply to about 40 million Nigerians.
The programme which was initiated two years ago had faced series of delays. The contract is to see the eventual ramp up of the country’s generation capacity to 25,000 megawatts by 2025 and create at least 11,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria oil and gas conference in Abuja, the Senate committee chairman on Power, Sen. Gabriel Torwua Suswam, said that the Federal Government had released to Siemens, the sum of $100 million to quickly activate the contract and bring to an end those deficiencies that have militated against proper servicing of the industry as well as bring to an end grid collapses in the country.
He said: “Currently, the nation’s daily generation is hovering between 3,200MW and 3,500 MW, which is one of the reasons behind load shedding. We expect that by the time Siemens comes in and raises this to about 7,000 MW, at least, that issue will be addressed. The ambition of government is to achieve 25,000MW by year 2025 where we believe, hopefully, that when that is achieved, most of the industry that have left Nigeria for Ghana will probably begin to come back.
“In order to encourage more investors in the power sector, the National Assembly, under my chairmanship in the Senate, decided to put a legal framework together because that legal framework is the only thing that can protect investors.
“With the Electricity Bill which will be passed by the Senate in two or three weeks, so many problems that have bedevilled the industry for long and have not given people confidence to come to invest will have been solved.
“So we’ve been able to consolidate the power sector in one document for strategic implementation.
“This policy is to be driven by the Federal Government through the Federal Minister of Power. Once it becomes law, in every three years, we must look at our legislative plan and see what milestones are achieved, where we have gone wrong, and what needs to be done, so that we’ll be able to track. That I think will make a difference because I think what we lack in this country is the ability to track what we’re doing. What are the milestones? We’re just compounding the sector without certain milestones for them.
The only thing that gives potential investors confidence is that if you invest your money, and there’s a dispute, or there’s anything, you’ll be able to address.
“We’ve been able to consolidate the power sector in one document. That was the highlight of what we have been able to create in the National Assembly. We now have a strategic plan for the nation’s power sector which is lacking before now.
“In terms of power generations, for so long, we have been hearing that the nation has the potential to generate about 30,000 megawatts but currently generating 5,000MW. With the policy in place, the country will be on track.
On the new Electricity reform Act, we have included renewable energy which was not included in the Reform Act of 2005. The world is now talking about renewable energy. The new framework will regulate the post-privatisation phase of the industry and also seek more investors to leverage on the modern technology to accelerate growth in power generation, transmission and distribution.