President Bola Tinubu, while attending the G20 Compact with Africa Economic Conference on Monday, met with German Federal Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, and stressed Nigeria’s commitment to seeking German investment in specific sectors of the Nigerian economy.
In recognition of Siemens AG’s achievement in positively reshaping the quantity and quality of Egyptian electric power supply, the President underscored that, under his leadership, the gradual and erratic rollout of the Siemens-supported Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) would be infused with fresh urgency through a more intentional process of project implementation, while also acknowledging the necessity of integrating Siemens technology comprehensively within the project for its long-term viability.
‘For me, 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,’ the President affirmed, according to a statement by his spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale.
Moreover, the President articulated his enthusiastic interest in utilizing Siemens’ expertise to modernize and expand Nigeria’s rail network by introducing advanced trains and railways that could potentially exceed the speed of the existing 100km/hour standard-gauge systems currently operational in Nigeria by more than twofold.
In reply, the German Chancellor expressed a readiness to proceed with the proposal, while recognizing the need to address administrative and financial obstacles arising from governance issues inherited from previous administrations in the sector.
‘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.
President Tinubu underscored the significance of the German business community redirecting their attention to value-additive processing in Nigerian solid minerals, agricultural goods, automobile production, and other job-creating sub-sectors of the economy when speaking with the German leader.
‘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,’ the President stated.
The German Chancellor nodded in agreement and said, ‘There is nothing too unique on the growth of China. It came down to a lot of investment from overseas that leveraged on 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 leaders of Africa and Europe’s largest economies concurred on the need to deepen collaboration on the utilization of advanced biometric systems and border control technology to combat irregular migration, while also agreeing that investments in labor-intensive industries would be essential in addressing the root causes of the problem.