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Tuesday, 21 November 2023

The prospect of German investment in Nigeria’s power and rail sector brightened yesterday after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

It was the second meeting between the two leaders in one month, both of which focused on German investment in Nigeria.

Siemens Chief Executive Officer Sabine Dall’Omo participated in yesterday’s meeting.

The objective was to break the bottlenecks that have prevented the full implementation of the previous agreements between Germany and Nigeria during President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.

I know that there is a lot of work that has been done. There is already a big production of electricity in Nigeria, but it is not getting to the population.

Of course, this has to do with the need for a provision of stations and infrastructure on the grid. 

Siemens has developed the plan and is ready to deepen implementation, but it is now up to your new government to take the follow-up action that you are now committed to taking. 

On the railway plans, Siemens will be very happy to do this when more progress is made on the power project which has been started already,” the German Chancellor said in response to Tinubu’s request for maximum support.

According to a statement by Presidential spokesman Ajuri Ngilale, Tinubu said: “I am very much committed to pursuing all aspects of the Siemens power project and the skill development opportunities that will emerge from that project for our talented youths who can participate in sustaining the industry.

Everything the world requires in terms of business environment reforms are underway in Nigeria. 

Perhaps our foreign investors are still a bit paranoid that those old Nigerian issues are intractable. 

“But my track record speaks for itself. I have transformed an entity before now. I am here to do it again, and I will.”

Chancellor Scholz added: “There is nothing too unique about the growth of China. 

It came down to a lot of investment from overseas that leveraged cheap and skilled labour with adequate internal infrastructure and shipping infrastructure for imports and exports to flow easily. 

“These things are possible in Nigeria. You even have abundant natural resources. Step by step, it is achievable, Mr. President.”

The two leaders of the largest economies in Africa and Europe agreed to deepen collaboration on the utilisation of advanced biometric systems and border control technology to check irregular migration. 

They agreed that investments in labour-intensive industries will go a long way toward resolving the root causes of the problem.

President Tinubu later exchanged views with the German Head of State and Federal President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, before attending the Compact with Africa Summit of Heads of State and Government.

About IWIN

The Independent Energy Watch Initiative (I-WIN), an enterprise of Energy ConServ and the Roundtable for the Growth and Development of Power (RODEP), is an online/web based power sector portal that strives to engage stakeholders and the Nigerian public on topical issues in the power sector.

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