President Bola Tinubu has urged German company Siemens to consider investing in key sectors of the Nigerian economy, such as the railway industry to modernise it.
According to a statement from presidential spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu made this appeal during a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held on Monday’s sidelines of the G20 Compact with Africa Economic Conference in Berlin.
President Tinubu mentioned that Siemens could contribute to Nigeria’s rail network by supplying state-of-the-art trains and railways, drawing on their experience in Egypt, where they are currently building a 2,000km ultra-high-speed rail network spanning 60 cities.
In response, the German Chancellor expressed willingness, acknowledging the potential, but highlighted the importance of addressing administrative and financial challenges stemming from governance issues in the sector.
- The German chancellor said, “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,”
Nigeria’s railway sector
After decades of neglect, Nigeria is seeking to revitalise its rail sector to ease the burden on roads and to facilitate the movement of people and goods across the country.
In the last 8years, the federal government has completed long-abandoned projects such as the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, the Itakpe to Aladja project, the Abuja-Kaduna project etc.
Beyond that, there are ongoing rail projects across the country such as the Kaduna to Kano, Port-Harcourt to Aba rail line etc.
However, the country is seeking substantial financiers for its Lagos to Calabar coastal railway and the Port-Harcourt to Maiduguri projects which require significant financial commitment.