President Bola Tinubu recently engaged in discussions with German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz during the G20 Compact with Africa Economic Conference. The focus of their meeting centered on Nigeria’s determination to attract German investment, particularly in the power and rail sectors. President Tinubu expressed eagerness to collaborate with German companies, emphasizing the need for a review of the Siemens-backed Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) initiated in 2018 by former President Buhari. The objective is to address challenges in the power sector and expand capacity for future needs.
- Siemens AG’s Role: President Tinubu highlighted the importance of partnering with German companies, specifically Siemens AG, in reforming Nigeria’s power sector. The Siemens-backed PPI aimed to resolve lingering challenges, with Siemens Energy expected to facilitate financing for the project.
- Review of Initiative: President Tinubu emphasized the necessity of reviewing the PPI to ensure the prompt execution of targeted projects in the power sector. He pledged commitment to pursuing all aspects of the Siemens Power project and leveraging skill development opportunities for Nigerian youths.
- German Commitment: Chancellor Scholz signaled Germany’s willingness to address administrative and financial challenges in the power sector. Recognizing governance issues inherited from the previous administration, Scholz expressed confidence in Siemens’ plan and urged the new Nigerian government to take follow-up actions.
- Rail Sector Investment: Germany expressed interest in Nigeria’s rail sector, drawing parallels with China’s success. Scholz noted the potential for Nigeria to replicate China’s growth through overseas investment, skilled labor, and robust infrastructure, emphasizing the achievability of development step by step.
- Visit and Pledges: Germany has shown a strong willingness to invest in Nigeria, with Chancellor Scholz visiting the country in October. He acknowledged Nigeria’s capacity for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production and pledged investments in mineral resources and the rail sector.
Summary: The meeting between President Tinubu and Chancellor Scholz highlighted Nigeria’s pursuit of German investment in the power and rail sectors. The focus on reviewing and expediting the Siemens-backed PPI reflects a commitment to addressing challenges in the power sector. Germany, recognizing Nigeria’s potential, pledged support in overcoming administrative and financial obstacles. The discussion also extended to the promising opportunities in Nigeria’s rail sector, with Germany drawing parallels to China’s development. The visit underscores the potential deepening of investment ties between the two countries, leveraging Nigeria’s abundant natural resources amid global energy challenges.