Nigeria, Siemens ink deal to deliver 11,000MW power supply by 2023
Nigeria and German company Siemens have agreed a roadmap to nearly triple the country’s “reliable” power supply by 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday.
Nigeria’s ailing power infrastructure, which forces businesses and households to run costly fuel generators, is often blamed for hobbling growth in Africa’s largest economy, reports Reuters.
The dilapidated government-owned grid, operated by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, would collapse if all the country’s power generators operated at full tilt.
Buhari, who held talks with Siemens CEO and President Joe Kaeser in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, said that currently only an average of 4,000 megawatts reliably reaches consumers despite there being over 13,000 megawatts of power generation capacity.
“My challenge to Siemens, our partner investors in the Distribution Companies of Nigeria (DISCOS) the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) 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,” said Buhari.
Buhari, who said the ultimate goal was to drive generation capacity and overall grid capacity to 25,000 megawatts, did not disclose the monetary value of Siemens’ involvement in the plan.
In December, Reuters reported that plans to build another privately-financed power station were delayed because of concerns about persistent shortfalls in payments for electricity across the sector.
However, majority of the people do not believe in the optimism of President Buhari. They point to previous commitments and pledges of the Buhari government and others before it as reason for their pessimism. “I don’t believe in the megawatts being bandied by the Nigerian government. Previous governments did the same including this government during its first term but everybody knows the situation is getting worse, “ lamented Oseni Awojobi, a retail store owner in Abuja.
“Cost of doing business in this country is high because of poor power supply. To keep our goods fresh and in good condition, we have to power our generator all the time. This eats up our profit”, he said.