By Kemi Yesufu
President Muhammadu Buhari has said the Federal Government is focused on fixing transmission and distribution infrastructure as a major part of its plans to improve power supply in the country.
Speaking during a meeting with President Siemens AG, Mr. Joe Kaeser in Aso Rock Presidential Villa, President Buhari described the rehabilitation of transmission and distribution components of the power supply network as critical to delivering on job creation.
He disclosed that Monday’s meeting with Kaeser, former part of the benefits from his meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during which the government-to-government approach, with the cutting out of middle men, was agreed to achieve significant progress in sectors key to economic growth.
The President further explained that is Siemens committed to its collaboration with the Federal Government to develop a road map to upgrade Nigeria’s electricity grid.
He said: “This Government’s priority was to stabilise the power generation and gas supply sector through the Payment Assurance Facility, which led to a peak power supply of 5,222 MW. Nonetheless, the constraints remained at the transmission and distribution systems.
“ This is why I directed my team to ask Siemens and our Nigerian stakeholders to first focus on fixing the transmission and distribution infrastructure – especially around economic centres where jobs are created. Whilst it was evident that more needed to be done to upgrade the sub-transmission and distribution system, our Government was initially reluctant to intervene as the distribution sector is already privatized”.
“ I am therefore very pleased with the positive feedback from private sector owners of the distribution companies, who have all endorsed Government’s intervention to engage Siemens on this end-to-end plan to modernise the electricity grid.
“Our goal is simply to deliver electricity to Nigerian businesses and homes. 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 1 and 2 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”, the President further said.
Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), led by Prof. James Momoh, laid the foundation for the electrification roadmap agreement.