The federal government targets to provide up to 40 million Nigerians with stable electricity on the back of its power deal with the German’s Siemens power company. This was disclosed Monday by Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, who assured that the first phase of the much-awaited project which is about to commence would not just deliver power supply but also create at least 11,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The project which comes under the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) would also help Africa’s largest economy ramp up its generation capacity up to 25,000 megawatts. Ahmed was speaking at the commencement of the PPI training on network development studies, by FGN Power Company, which is the firm overseeing the Siemens power project.

“The first phase of the PPI will provide over 40 million people with more reliable electricity supply, create 11,000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians from power system engineers to electricians and contractors. This will in turn improve the standard of living while providing homes and businesses with constant, reliable and affordable electricity supply,” she stated.

The training component of the PPI was to empower engineers with tools and training on network modelling and system development studies. She said the federal government has since been coordinating inputs by key stakeholders’ input and working with the ministry of finance to secure funding and to enter into efficient commercial and contractual arrangements to deliver the PPI.

Recall that the finance minister is the chairperson of the board of FGN Power Co, while members are the ministers of power, works and housing as well as the minister of justice, the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE).

At the event, Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of Power, assured that in 18 months, the Siemens project will add 2,000 megawatts to the national grid, raising it to about 7,000 megawatts. “The objective of the PPI is to increase the end-to-end grid operational capacity of the power system in Nigeria to 25 gigawatts, but the focus in the next 18 months is to deliver the first additional 2,000 megawatts.

“This will create a rapid transformation in the on-grid electricity value chain, spur economic growth, create jobs and opportunities for Nigerian youth and enterprises,” he noted. The Siemens project is expected to modernise, rehabilitate and expand the national grid by investing in the electricity value chain (generation, transmission, and distribution systems) of the power sector.

“Our implementing partner, Siemens, will assist with world-class experience in power system reforms like they have done recently in Egypt,” Aliyu noted. Kenny Anuwe, managing director of FGN Power, said the training was the first Power System Simulation Software (PSS) session under the Power Technology International (PTI) from Germany.

It is also expected that the entire power sector value chain comprising the generation, transmission and distribution will partake in the training which will be handled by the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN). Anuwe further assured that the much-awaited project will resolve the existing bottlenecks in transmission and distribution networks, which will increase electricity access across Nigeria. “I want to assure you that FGN Power Company will do its best to deliver on this project to ensure greater success and sustainability,” he stated.

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