Lagos accused of poor power management

May 09, 2005 02:00 AM

Lagos State Government cannot consolidate gains recorded in its independent power project because the Federal Government refused to cooperate with it, and to improve its revenue profile, gas vendors are to be taxed, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure has said. Lagos started an independent power project in 2002, which did not quite make a difference in the state's power situation.
"It is with mixed feelings that I am reporting to you that our laudable follow-up of IPP, which should have delivered additional 540 MW of electric power from Morogbo, near Agbara, is still being frustrated by the non receipt of the approval from the Federal Government," Engineer Aregbesola said.

On the gas tax, he said the Works and Infrastructure Ministry through the Ministry of Justice has concluded arrangements for the regulation of the operation of natural gas vendors in the State.
"The draft bill has been forwarded to the Lagos State Legislature the Energy Development Tax bill is receiving attention at the House of Assembly and would soon pass into Law". He admitted that the "inadequacy of the power supply, which has now returned to its situation prior to our intervention, has become the obvious main problem militating against the sustained economic and social growth of Nigeria and in particular, Lagos State "

The government, he said has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Dom-Electric (Nig.), a private sector investor in power sector to generate adequate electric power supply to industrial and commercial outfits in some strategic parts of the state. The pilot scheme of this project would start at the MKO Gardens, a large residential estate in the Ikeja central business district, and the second phase would focus on the general area designated as "Greater Lagos". Dom-Electric, Aregbesola said would operate a transmission and distribution company as an alternative to NEPA.
"It is hoped that the much awaited unbinding of NEPA would make our initiative move faster towards accelerated implementation in due course".

Speaking on the activities of his Ministry, broken down into the office of Works, Infrastructure, Public Works Corporation, and Electricity Board, Aregbesola said paucity of funds has been a major militating factor in the government's quest of delivering desired gains of democracy to its citizens.
"This administration is irrevocably committed to the noble objective of the greatest good to the greatest number of the citizens "

Based on the knowledge of the state's finances, the government has adopted public/private partnership as the way forward. It awarded contracts for the installation of streetlights on 21 strategic roads like the Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, from the Ikeja roundabout to Coca-Cola junction at the cost of N 12,700,700.00 and Old Abeokuta Road in Agege at a cost of N 30,000,000.00. He said some of these installations have been completed while others are at various stages of completion. Aregbesola said some notable companies like Nigerian Bottling Company; Cadbury Nigeria; WEMPCO; Airport Hotels; and Sheraton Hotels, among others, have been adopted as partners to provide streetlights in their immediate neighbourhood.
"WEMPCO has responded positively to this partnership by energizing the streetlight installation along WEMPCO road, Ogba it has promised to ensure future maintenance of the installation".

Also, government and private companies using large electricity generating sets have been enjoined to extend there power supply to the street lights within their vicinity to ensure that these lights remain lit when there is public power outage.
"Several companies have been engaged in an agency approach to street light maintenance some street lighting installations have started functioning while some are at various stages of completion funding arrangement is made convenient to both state government and participating companies".

Source: This Day
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