President Bola Tinubu has called for German investment in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy such as power and rail transportation.
Tinubu made the call at a meeting with German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, on the sidelines of the G20 Compact with Africa Economic Conference, on Monday in Berlin.
The president said that German investment was needed in critical growth-enabling industries in energy, transportation, and electric power generation, transmission and distribution.
The President said the staggered and unsteady implementation of the Siemens-supported Presidential Power Initiative should take new urgency.
“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 youth who can participate in sustaining the industry,” Mr Tinubu said.
He also said Siemens could play a role in Nigeria’s rail network with the provision of ultra-modern trains and railways as it is doing in Egypt, where it is constructing 2,000 kilometres ultra-high speed rail network across 60 cities.
To this, the German Chancellor expressed readiness, but said there was a need to resolve administrative and financial hurdles brought about by governance problems 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,” Scholz said.
Tinubu drew the attention of the German leader to the need for the German business community to focus on value-additive processing in Nigeria’s solid minerals, agriculture, automobile and other job-creating areas.
“Everything the world requires in terms of business environment reforms is 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,” President Tinubu said.
Scholz agreed and said it was possible with a lot of investments, cheap, skilled labour, and adequate internal 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,” he said.
The two leaders agreed to deepen collaboration on the utilisation of advanced biometric systems and border control technology to check irregular migration.
They also agreed that investments in labour-intensive industries would go a long way towards resolving the root causes of irregular migration.
Mr Tinubu later exchanged views with German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, before attending the Compact with Africa summit.
Sola Jolaoso with additional report by NAN