Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu, had a meeting with German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday on the sidelines of the G20 Compact with Africa Economic Conference, All Nigeria Latest News reports.
During the meeting, Tinubu told him that Nigeria is actively seeking German investment in key sectors of its economy, with a specific emphasis on growth-enabling industries such as energy, transportation, and electric power production, transmission, and distribution.
Acknowledging the positive impact of Siemens AG in enhancing the quantity and quality of electric power supply in Egypt, President Tinubu emphasized that, under his leadership, the implementation of the Siemens-supported Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) in Nigeria would gain new momentum through a more deliberate approach to project execution. He underscored the importance of embracing Siemens technology across all facets of the project for long-term sustainability.
“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,” Tinubu affirmed.
President Tinubu, cognizant of Siemens’ ongoing construction of a 2,000km ultra high-speed rail network across 60 cities in Egypt at a speed of 230km/hour, expressed a strong interest in leveraging Siemens’ expertise to modernize and expand Nigeria’s rail network. He specifically emphasized the potential for Siemens to provide ultra-modern trains and railways that could significantly surpass the current 100km/hour standard-gauge systems operating in Nigeria.
The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz while reacting expressed readiness but with an acknowledgment of the need to resolve administrative and financial hurdles brought about by governance problems emanating from prior administration 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 highlighted the importance of the German business community directing their efforts toward value-additive processing in Nigeria’s solid minerals, agricultural goods, automobile production, and other job-creating sub-sectors of the economy.
“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, “For 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 the largest economies in Africa and Europe, President Tinubu and German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, reached an agreement to enhance cooperation in utilizing advanced biometric systems and border control technology to address irregular migration. They also concurred that investments in labor-intensive industries would contribute significantly to addressing the underlying causes of the issue.
Tinubu later engaged in discussions with the German Head of State and Federal President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, before participating in the Compact with Africa Summit of Heads of State and Government.