President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the ministry of power to collaborate with the Egyptian government on the effective implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), otherwise known, as the Siemens Project.
The president's instruction will see a delegation from Nigeria visit Egypt to, according to the Minister of Power, Mr. Sale Mamman, understudy the country's own success story with the German firm.
In July last year, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), approved the payment of €15.21 million (about N6.9 billion) offshore and N1.708 billion onshore as part of Nigeria's counterpart funding for the deal, which has somehow stalled since then.
In three phases, the deal is expected to focus on essential and quick-win measures to increase the system's operational capacity to 7000MW and to significantly reduce Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses.
ATC&C is the difference between the amount of electricity received by a Distribution Company (Disco) from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the amount of electricity for which it invoices its customers.
Siemens is expected to provide general technical training on core competency areas as well as training for employees of Nigeria's 11 electricity distribution companies, the TCN, and regulators, on all the equipment and software being provided by Siemens.
In phase two, the deal will target the remaining network bottlenecks to enable full use of existing generation and distribution capacities, bringing the system's capacity to 11,000MW, while it is meant to develop the system up to 25,000MW in the long-term, in the third phase.
In a statement in Abuja, Special Adviser on Media and Communication to the Minister, Mr Aaron Artimas, noted that Mamman spoke of the president's directive while receiving the Egyptian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ihab Moustafa Awad, in his office at the Power House.
The minister further disclosed that the president had already intimated him that Egypt had successfully rehabilitated and restored its power sector through its collaboration with Siemens, saying that there was need to look at the success story.
"The president had reasoned that obtaining more information from Egypt will enable our country to maximise our agreement with Siemens towards the total overhaul of our power grid and distribution systems," he said.
Describing the visit of the Egyptian Ambassador as timely, Mamman assured that the ministry would leverage on the development, not only concerning the Siemens project but also on renewable energy which he said is highly needed to supplement Nigeria's national power grid.
The minister accepted the ambassador's suggestion to visit Egypt for a better understanding of the Egyptian power sector and the deepening of collaboration in the other sectors within the power value chain.
Earlier the ambassador revealed that since his assumption of duties, he had been visiting some key ministries in pursuit of areas of mutual collaboration.
He said that Egypt has a lot of experience and technical knowledge in the power sector to provide support to Nigeria in the rehabilitation of its transmission and distribution sectors.
The statement also quoted Awad as calling for the restoration of the Egyptian-Nigerian Joint Commission, saying that he hoped to have the first resumed session before the end of this year.