Germany Expresses Readiness To Invest In Nigeria’s Rail Infrastructure
Germany has expressed readiness to invest in Nigeria’s rail infrastructure, thereby increasing the prospect of German investments in Nigeria.
German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz mentioned this to Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the sidelines of the G20 Compact with Africa Economic Conference held on Monday.
Expressing the interest of Siemens in replicating the ultra high-speed rail network project in Nigeria, Chancellor Scholz said Siemens had deepened plans in rail infrastructure for Africa and ready to also implement in Nigeria but that is now up to the Nigerian government to begin necessary follow-up action that represents full commitment.
Scholz acknowledged the need to resolve administrative and financial hurdles brought about by governance challenges 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.
These were in response to the expression of President Tinubu’s stance and determination in the pursuit of German investment in targeted sectors of the Nigerian economy which focuses on critical growth-enabling industries such as energy, transportation, and electric power production, transmission, and distribution.
Recognising the success of Siemens AG in positively transforming the quantity and quality of Egyptian electric power supply, the Nigerian Leader noted that under his leadership, the unsteady implementation of the Siemens-supported Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) would take on new urgency with a more deliberate process of project execution.
“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..
“Aware of the new 2,000km ultra high-speed rail network which Siemens is presently constructing across 60 cities in Egypt at the speed of 230km/hour, the President further expressed his keen interest in the role Siemens can play in modernizing and expanding Nigeria’s rail network with the provision of ultra-modern trains and railways which can more than double the speed of existing 100km/hour standard-gauge systems presently operating in Nigeria.
President Tinubu further drew the attention of the German leader to the need for the business community to focus their attention on value-addition processing in Nigerian 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, “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 two leaders agreed to deepen collaboration on the utilisation of advanced biometric systems and border control technology to check irregular migration, even as the two leaders agreed that investments in labour-intensive industries will go a long way to resolve the root causes of the problem.
President Tinubu later exchanged views with the German Head of State and Federal President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, before attending the Compact with Africa Summit of Heads of State and Government.