By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos State Government on Wednesday, unveiled the ”Lagos State Electricity Policy”, geared at providing cleaner, reliable, affordable and uninterrupted power supply to residents.
Speaking at the unveiling of the policy, organised by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that what residents wanted was regular power supply.
Sanwo-Olu said the electricity policy articulated constitutional, legal, engineering and commercial foundations for creating a viable sub-national electricity system that would cater for energy needs of the state.
He said that such viable sub-national electricity system would enable socio-economic growth for Lagos and the nation at large.
According to him, the state moved to explore alternative energy supply channels, in response to growing demand, occasioned by population growth and emergence of new residential and industrial areas.
“Energy requirement that will keep Lagos economy on the path of growth, has far exceeded the current 1,000 megawatts being supplied from the national grid, necessitating the move to explore alternative sources.
“Given Lagos state’s status as the commercial nerve-centre and economic hub of Nigeria, it is our firm belief that the attainment of universal electricity access in the state will accelerate the same across other parts of the country.
“There will be no economic development without sustainable energy. The economy needs energy to run, and our objective as a government is to deliver sustainable, reliable and affordable electricity to all residents.
“The electricity policy being unveiled today do not only articulate the problems in the sector, it is also futuristic in the implementation of its provisions,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said the state would ramp up procurement of pre-paid meters for distribution to residents, as part of the implementation of the electricity policy.
He said that this would promote transparency in the supply chain, while curbing electricity theft and discouraging estimated billing from the suppliers.
The governor said the objectives of the electricity policy would only be realisable if the private partners showed equal commitment as the government, to boost capacity in off-grid generation and distribution network.
“As a government, we believe one person cannot do it all. We need ideas and knowledge from each other, and form real partnership for coordination in the implementation of this framework.
”We must continue to ensure profitable partnerships to push investments, be audacious and accountable,” he said.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Olalere Odusote said the government was committed to improving electricity supply in the state.
Odusote said the electricity policy would define and describe the short, mid and long term requirements, toward ensuring universal, clean, affordable and interrupted power supply to residents.
He said that one of the important roles of the policy was that it would help to establish and boost the Lagos Electricity Market (LEM).
The commissioner said the electricity policy, apart from clearing out constitutional and legal framework for investors’ assurance, also provided for the establishment of an autonomous regulatory body and independent system operator.
He said that Lagos government would hinge its partnership with the industry players, on well-funded and well-managed generation, transmission and distribution. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)