THE Lagos State government has disclosed its plan to improve power supply up to 20 hours daily in many communities by exploring opportunities in the new Electricity Act 2023.
The government said the plan would further stimulate investments and boost the standard of living, among others.
President Bola Tinubu had recently signed the Electricity bill into law, marking a significant update to Nigeria’s 2005 Electricity and Power Sector Reform Act.
The National Assembly passed the bill in July 2022 during former president Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The new legislation aims to stimulate private sector investments in the country’s power sector and break the monopoly in electricity generation, transmission, and distribution at the national level.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos state Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Sholabomi Shasore, who disclosed the government’s electricity plan on June 10 at an organised stakeholders’ engagement in Alimosho Local Government Area, explained it was part of continued efforts to ensure adequate power supply to Lagos residents through various interventions.
Shasore said the meeting was organised in line with the inclusive policy of the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, whom he said believed that the contribution of every resident in the state would be essential to achieve the ‘Greater Lagos’ vision.
According to her, the Light Up Lagos Community Electrification Programme is an initiative of the present administration aimed at unlocking electricity distribution, transmission and metering infrastructure to deliver reliable power supply to high-impact, high-population, low-income communities in Lagos.
Shasore disclosed that the pilot implementation of the Power Infrastructure upgrade at target communities was nearing completion at Alimosho, Orelope, Okunola, Agege, Oko-Oba and Abattoir, as well as in Ajah, Eleko, Magbon and Ibeju Lekki.
“This initiative was borne out of the desire of the state government to improve the standard of living of Lagos residents, contribute to their economic activities, increase in productivity and job creation, and ultimately boost the businesses of small and medium scale enterprises, including artisans who rely primarily on electricity for the survival of their businesses, as well improve the overall well-being of all residents in the state,” she added.
Shasore stated that a total number of 8,613 service addresses connected to the feeders being installed would benefit from the improved supply covering almost 10,000 households.
According to her, “While the State Government had intervened in the functionality of electricity supply to various communities within Alimosho as a whole, the Sanwo-Olu administration is now taking it a step further by engaging with residents who are the critical stakeholders in this power intervention.
“Your participation is required to ensure that you reap the benefits of this Power Infrastructure upgrade.
“With this engagement, the state government seeks to ensure that you know your role in realising the goal of this intervention and look out and protect the infrastructure as your own. I implore the leadership of relevant CDAs, who are direct beneficiaries of this power project, to take ownership of this electrification infrastructure and protect it against vandals.”
Shashore stressed the importance of prompt payment of electricity bills, protection against energy theft, discouragement of meter bypassing, and other illegal acts that might jeopardise the overall intention of the state government to improve power supply to Alimosho and its environs.
She explained that the developments in the power sector with the recent amendment of the Power provision in the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 were an indication of greater things to come with regard to power, and with Lagos State at the forefront.
Shasore assured that the electricity infrastructure that had been put in place in the communities would guarantee reliable power supply as incidents of power failure, faulty transformers and cables, high and low electric current, and inadequate electricity poles, among others, had been fully addressed.
“It is worthy to note that Alimosho Local Government and its environs have always been identified as an integral part of the Greater Lagos Rising project under the administration of Governor Sanwo-Olu and, as such, it is set to enjoy more dividends of democracy and good governance, going forward,” she said.
The commissioner for Lagos Energy (Electricity), Lagos State, said the Lagos State Electricity policy is targeted at exploring advantages of the new Electricity Act 2023 to provide universal and reliable electricity access to citizens.
Records showed the state is powered by less than 1,000 megawatts of electricity supply from the national grid by the Eko and Ikeja DisCos.
The State Electricity Market Policy seeks to ensure that the market is owned and operated substantially by the private sector under a commercial framework, and guided by the state tarrif methodology.
The policy also notes that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) will be encouraged to incorporate its transmission network in the state under a separate corporate entity that would seek and obtain licence from the state regulator.
The Lagos Electricity Market will have six sets of players. They are the natural gas suppliers, generation companies transmission entity, an independent system operator, distribution entities and an electricity trading company.
Olalere said the policy would serve as a key enabler for Lagos State’s aspiration to become an advanced economy driving access and affordable electricity to residents and commercial consumers in the state.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.