Lagos Embedded Power Project Will Turn Around State’s Economy – Speaker
The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, on Wednesday said the Lagos State Electric Power Sector Reform Bill, when passed into law, would turn around the state’s economy.
Obasa spoke at the public a Public Hearing on the bill organised by the House Ad hoc Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources, held at Lateef Jakande Hall, Alausa, Ikeja.
The Speaker, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Wasiu Eshinokun-Sanni, said the bill would lead to the strengthening of electricity generation in the state and provision of an uninterrupted power supply.
“This project will have a multiplier effect on the economy of the state,” the speaker said.
According to him, when passed into law, it will facilitate the development and management of sustainable power supply in the state.
The Chairman of the Adhoc Committee, Mr. Folajimi Mohammed, said the state had obtained a no-objection from the Federal Government to generate, distribute and transmit electricity through an embedded power supply.
Mohammed said the power project would bring a new lease of life to the people of the state by providing uninterrupted power supply.
A stakeholder at the Public Hearing, Mr. Aina Adeyemi of Adeyemi Aina & Co, said the proposed law should address the issue of illegal connection and diversion of electricity.
“Even some rich people and others remove their air conditioners and other devices from the meters and connect to the pole directly. This leads to 28 percent loss for Distribution Companies.
“The state government should partner with meter producing companies on the project. There should be a special court and police for energy offenders as it is done in a country like Egypt,’’ he said.
Mr. Wale Oluwo, the state Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, in his contribution, said the bill was put together to provide a legal framework for the project in the state.
Oluwo said the state government planned to provide power for the state on a sustainable basis.
The commissioner said the embedded power was fairly strange to the state but would achieve its aim on the long run.
“We used to provide electricity to power government agencies. Now, we want to power private homes and offices.
“We are planning to generate electricity and pass to EKO Distribution Company and Ikeja DisCo.
“The Bill has 45 parts; we will ensure that power gets to the people.
“We have not had good electricity in Nigeria for 50 years. We will help the DisCos to meter everybody and stop estimation.
“Electricity would be on a prepaid basis and people would either pay through recharge card or online.
“There would be power rangers and mobile courts to deal with offenders with the approval of the state assembly,’’ he said.
The proposed reform provides support to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission in the area of enforcement.
The state Ministry of Energy is expected to perform oversight functions for IBILE Oil and Gas Corporation, Lagos State Electricity Board, and Lagos State Embedded Power Commission, according to the Bill.
The bill also gives the ministry the power to be responsible for the initiation, formulation, and coordination of power sector policies and programmes of the state.
“It shall coordinate and supervise Independent Power Projects in the state, and perform any other function as may be assigned to the Ministry by the Governor,’’ the bill read in part.
The bill also empowers the state Ministry of Energy to collaborate with Federal, State, Energy and Electric power-related Agencies to promote and support investment in electric power projects within the state.
It also provides for the establishment of the Lagos State Embedded Power Commission.
The commission is expected to collaborate with relevant Federal Agencies, ministries, departments, regulators and the Distribution Companies with respect to the development of electric power generation and distribution in the state.