Nigeria, the largest country and most populous nation in the West African sub-region, is yet grappling to meet the basic needs of its citizens, chief amongst which is electricity, a necessary element for attaining economic stability in the modern era.
It is owing to the poor supply of electricity that the country lost many of its industries to less popular countries, resulting in a plunge in its gross income. The reason is clear that such companies moved for more profitable environments, free from economically degenerating epileptic power supply.
The long periods of power outages and embarrassing blackouts as supposedly overseen by the country’s electricity power supplying establishment could well be overcome if the natural long hours of sunshine and winds in the country could be efficiently harnessed.
Given Nigeria’s Third World status, that achievement could only be more feasible with an advanced partnership, hence the need for a strong collaborator. To this end, the idea of a German-Nigerian energy partnership was initiated in October 2007 following deliberations between former President Shehu Musa Yar’adua of Nigeria, German Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel.
With the opportunities in view, an agreement was reached with the participation of Gesellschaft International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German agency for international cooperation. The aim is to build on the abundant natural energy sources in Nigeria for efficient use.
In December last year, the two countries signed an agreement to partner in the adaptation programmes by annexed countries to non-annexed countries for the supplementation of the gas emission trade as contained in the Kyoto Protocol.
An initial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed August 19, 2008.
The approach later involved Nigeria’s Minister of National Planning, Dr Shamsuddeen Usman, who pointed to the cache of benefits to be recorded by the two parties. The GIZ is to inject over 20 million Euros spread across various levels of government, the aim of which is to increase energy efficiency by about 6500MW through a mix of power generation sources over the short, medium and long term.
With a population close to 150 million, other means of power generation ought to be exploited with serious consideration despite slanted interest locally.
The hope is that co-operations like the one from Germany through the kreditanstalt fuer wiederaubau kfw could have sustainable long term effect and impact.