By Udeme Akpan
The nation’s $2.3 billion Presidential Power Initiative, PPI, challenge, has come beneath menace, following a pointy disagreement between the Federal Government and Siemens Energy over native content material, automation and counterpart funding.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed between the federal government and its German ally, the initiative was initially conceived to produce 7,000 megawatts by December 2021, and extra 11,000MW and 25, 000MW by 2023 and 2025 respectively.
But investigation by Vanguard indicated that the challenge continues to be in its pre-engineering stage, as a result of the Federal Government, which requested for 75 per cent native content material, 40 per cent automation and 60 per cent human-driven operations, shouldn’t be prepared financially to make the counterpart funding accessible.
However, the German authorities, by means of Siemens Energy, which insisted on 50 per cent native content material and 100 per cent automation, has demanded that the federal government pay a specified quantity of counterpart funding as demanded by a consortium of world banks funding the challenge.
These and different topical points are nonetheless being mentioned by the federal government so as to pave method for eventual graduation of the challenge.
‘Why project is delayed’
Deputy Director, Press, Ministry of Power, Austin Asoluka, who requested a letter from Vanguard earlier than responding, declined to touch upon the challenge.
However, an impeccable supply near the challenge who pleaded anonymity attributed the delay primarily to the three points in addition to outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The official stated: “Another major problem is the COVID-19 which has made the movement of personnel, goods and services largely impossible since December 2019.
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“The reality is that transformers, switch gears and lines are physical assets that require physical movement across continents and we do not have the luxury of time. The challenge is when COVID-19 will allow real movements. Yet, by means of innovative techniques and concepts, the goals will be achieved.
“No one knew that COVID-19 will swallow the entire 2020 from humanity, and we are largely in the pandemic era, with third waves appearing in many climes. Unfortunately, power system assets like transformers require a lead time of 12 to 18 months from the date of order to delivery.”
The official additionally famous that whereas working in the direction of the implementation of the challenge, the federal government was additionally executing some schemes, which he known as, ‘quick wins’ to enhance the general expertise of shoppers within the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI inside the subsequent six to 9 months.
Siemens, others react
However, talking in a phone interview with Vanguard yesterday, Corporate Communications Manager, Siemens Energy, Titilola Taiwo, stated: “A lot of work is currently ongoing behind the scenes. There is need for everyone to be patient as we are very committed to the execution of this important project.”
Commenting on the event, President, Nigeria Consumer Protection Network and member, Presidential Ad-hoc Committee on Review of Electricity Tariff in Nigeria (August, 2020 ), Kunle Olubiyo, stated: “We have seen the good intention but everything is paperwork and the information we have now is that the German company is saying COVID-19 is affecting the bringing down of transformers and their personnel from Germany.”
Vanguard News Nigeria