29 October 2013, Abuja – Nigeria and Germany have extended the tenure of the agreement on the development of energy across various states of the federation under the Nigerian-German Energy Partnership (NGEP) for a further five years.
The decision to extend the bilateral relation, which resulted from a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed by both governments in 2008, was disclosed after an extensive meeting of parties recently in Abuja.
It is however understood that the extension followed the level of success recorded so far with terms under the NGEP, notably in manpower development within Nigeria’s emerging electricity sector through the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) amongst others.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, who signed the extension agreement on behalf of the federal government, said it became necessary after a careful review of achievements of the cooperation in the last five years.
Igali said over 19 states of the federation had already keyed into the NGEP programme, adding that the group had also emphasised the need to encourage more private sector participation in the development of renewable energy in Nigeria.
Leader of the German delegation, State Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister of Germany, Prof. Harald Braun, who spoke correspondingly, said the NGEP framework targeted generation of about 500 megawatts (MW) of electricity from solar energy alone within the five year period.
Braun said already several areas had been identified for solar energy development, stressing that the partnership agreement had taken a holistic approach to power generation in the last five years.
“We had focused on renewables with large hydro rehabilitation and capacity support to Nigeria. We have the solar map of the country. The meeting had full content and we intend to generate 500MW of electricity from solar within the next five years,” Braun said.
He also noted the first of some of projects carried out by the German counterpart had been completed including the grid connection installed to allow for evacuation of power from the Geregu extension.
The NGEP emerged from the initial meeting between German Chancellor Merkel and the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in Heilingendamm. The framework had begun to crystallise at the first meeting of the parties chaired by Yar’Adua on October 27, 2007.
The partnership comprises a variety of projects with the dual objective of arresting the persistent and severe electric power shortages in Nigeria while contributing towards energy security for Germany.
It is expected that completion of projects under the partnership will add about 6500MW of electricity to the national grid. Signed on August 19, 2008 in Abuja, the partnership MoU covers three areas of cooperation; oil and gas , power sector , and capacity building and training. It comprises short, medium and long term projects located or to be located across the nation.
Some of the projects envisaged in the framework include renewable (solar, hydro, waste, wind), gas and light crude and coal projects. The partnership also identified the need to pursue technical audits of all existing power plants to determine those to be repaired, upgraded or decommissioned.
In addition, it aims to complete a capacity assessment in order to implement a medium to long term capacity building strategy, while enhancing vocational training and professional development as a critical area of interest to ensure sustainability of the investment in infrastructure.
Secretary of the National Energy Council (NEC), which supervises the NGEP, Alhaji Ibrahim Njiddah, disclosed that the German government had offered to provide electricity to four universities in the country.
Njiddah said the gesture was part of the council’s renewable energy programme sponsored by the German government, adding that 25MW of electricity would be provided to the selected universities under the project.
He listed the beneficiary universities to include; University of Ibadan (UI) with 10MW, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola (5MW), Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto (5MW) and the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa (5MW).
– This Day