FEC okays N8.64b for electricity deal with Siemens
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday ratified President Muhammadu Buhari’s anticipatory approval for the release of €15.21million (N6,940,081,465.20) offshore and N1.708 billion onshore, a total of N8,648,081,465.2 for counterpart funding of the power deal with Siemens AG signed by the Nigerian and German governments last year.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, while briefing newsmen after the council meeting in Abuja, explained that the memo seeking the ratification was jointly presented with her Power Ministry counterpart, Saleh Mamma, for the counterpart funding of the deal guaranteed by the German government through Euler Hermes.
She said the ratification was specifically to finance the implementation of the end- to-end grid modernization and expansion programme of the project.
The Federal Government had in December 2019 allocated N61billion for the Nigeria electrification road map which will be developed in partnership with Siemens AG. In July 2019, the government and Siemens signed a Letter of Agreement on the deal after President Buhari and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel met on August 31, 2018, in Abuja.
Nigeria is expected to spend about €3.11 billion or N1.15 trillion across four major states. The Nigerian electrification project has three phases and it aims at achieving 25,000 megawatts of electricity in the country by 2025.
Power projects in the budget include the 3,050-megawatts Mambilla hydropower plant in Taraba State, for which N2 billion counterpart fund was set aside. Others are 2x60MVA 132/33kV substation at Gwaram in Jigawa State (N717 million); 215MW power station in Kaduna (N190million) and Kashambilla transmission in Taraba State (N506 million).
Ahmed said the amount was for the first of the three phases designed to include 23 transmission initiatives as well as 175 separate transformative projects.
“The project will also support the regulator, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), towards a programme of improving metering in the electricity industry in the country.”
The meeting presided over by President Buhari also approved the memorandum of understanding to ratify the air transport agreement between Nigeria and the United States of America.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who briefed, explained that “the US has signed its own and Mr. President and council graciously accepted today to also ratify this approval.
“Mr. President signed the valid agreement of Air transport service between Nigeria and the US with the attendant benefits for both countries, especially as Nigeria is working towards having its own full national airline.”
Minister of Environment, Mohammed Mahmoud briefed on a New National Forest Policy for the country. He explained that the old one which was formulated in 2006 was not catering for the current situation at hand.
The minister noted that “forestry is a big sector of the economy, which provides a lot of employment opportunities, reduces poverty, provides means of livelihood and foreign exchange from export of wood.
“Without a sustainable forest management, you cannot have all of these benefits. We also know that right now particularly with the issue of climate change, forest is a big part of climate change mitigation. The more forest we have, the more cover we seek. It means taking out the emission out of our planet and stabilizing the temperature of the planet and the catastrophic effects of climate change.”
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