From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

After several months of dormancy, Federal Government, yesterday, assured that the German power company, Siemens AG, will begin operations, first quarter, next year.

Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, who gave this assurance in Abuja, at a workshop organised by the Power Correspondents Association of Nigeria (PCAN), said that all was set for the takeoff of the deal.

According to the minister, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration has put everything in place for the partnership to work, adding that the project has the capacity to expand Nigeria’s electricity from the current 4,500MW to 25,000MW.

“The Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) which began in 2021 is in three phases and is estimated to be completed in 2025. The phases cover the upgrading and expanding the transmission networks (TN) and Distribution Companies (DisCos) networks; improvement of access to affordable, efficient and reliable electricity and, providing support of industrial and economic growth in the country.

“This first phase which began in 2021 will go on for a period of 10 months with the end
goal of pushing to 7,000MW. So far, there has been no hitch as the team is currently on the pre-engineering phase. The second phase will raise the availability to 1,000MW and the third phase will raise the availability to 25,000MW. Given Siemens AG’s accomplishment of a similar plan in Egypt and also its reputation as an international giant in the power sector related engagements, it is strongly believed that the Nigeria Electricity Roadmap (NER) is possible and achievable” he said.

The minister also explained that the government was currently evaluating the procurement process and was confident that a positive outcome will emerge.

“This project has reached an advanced stage of activities in line with the Siemens project implementation plan.

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“Sustainable growth in the power sector can only be achieved by adding renewable sources to the energy mix. Today, for example, 80 per cent of our energy comes from gas-fired plants.

“Government is driving the change to increase the quantum of renewable energy sources using solar, wind and hydros across the nation. We are encouraging investments in renewable sources in areas with comparative advantages. We are working tirelessly to increase the hydro and solar opportunities in the country” he said, adding that as part of plans to integrate more renewable sources into the energy mix, Mambilla is planned to deliver 3,050MW, Kashimbila is planned to deliver 40MW, Dadinkowa is also planned to deliver 40MW. Zungeru is planned to deliver another 700MW and Katsina Wind farm is planned with 10MW.

“It is worthy to note that we are now going to make significant progress with the Mambilla Hydro plant as the issues encumbering the progress are being seriously looked into.

“Mini grids are a unique solution model that will increase the renewable energy penetration in Nigeria. It is because of this we are developing mini-grids across our Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria” Aliyu, said.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Power, Mr Goddy Jeddy-Agba stated the need for investors to invest in the renewable energy sector because the government has developed favourable policies and business-friendly environment for them.

“We are not just looking at foreign investors, we want our local investors too to embrace the renewable energy sector.

“We want to assure all our investors and would-be investors that we will continue to create favourable policies and business – friendly environments for their investments to thrive. The President Muhammad Buhari’s administration has introduced many favourable policies to water the ground for our partners” he assured.

Recall that the Siemens project generated a lot of controversies in the industry, a situation that eased out one of the top government functionaries.