Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has sought from the House of Representatives to allow input of state governments in the Electricity Bill 2022.
Sanwo-Olu made the appeal on Tuesday at Lagos House, Ikeja, during the handover ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Lagos State Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to bolster the overall energy security for residents.
He reiterated that allowing input of state governments in the Electricity Bill 2022 would unbundle knotty issues surrounding generation, transmission and distribution of power in Nigeria.
The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) was in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Power Africa, as part of the Nigeria Power Sector Programme (PA-NPSP).
The IRP serves as a master plan to improve sector planning and coordination while providing guidance on Lagos State energy development requirements to stakeholders.
The stakeholders include federal and state agencies, regulators, power generators, electricity transmitters and distributors, investors, and consumers.
The plan will also outline resource development plans for the next 20 years to meet the long-term electricity needs of the state’s residents, businesses, industries, and public/government premises such as hospitals and health clinics.
”We want our input in the bill. We want the members of the House of Representatives to call sub-national; states, so that we can have proper input into the bill and finally unbundle all of the bottlenecks in the power sector.
”We can sit down together and bring about a bill that is bankable; a bill that will help private sector funding and financing in today’s sector and a bill in which everybody can move at their pace.
”Every location can actually analyse what their demands are and what their future demands would be. This kind of bill will help all of us do a good job of our worth,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He urged stakeholders, including officials of Ikeja Electric and Eko Disco present at the handing-over ceremony not to leave the document on the shelf.
”We can indeed make this economy work for our people. We can make it work for small and medium businesses and cooperate to have access to their power need.
”It is only when we do that that we will trickle-fold the GDP of this state and of course by extension, the GDP of this country.
”I want to say to every member that this is a job cut out, we cannot go to sleep. This document should not just stay on our shelf, it is something that we need to analyse and digest,” the governor said.
United States Consul-General, Lagos, Williams Stevens, described electricity as the basis of economic growth, trade and investments in his address.
Stevens said that the United States Government was excited to partner with Lagos State on the issue of electricity.
”The U.S. government is committed to expanding and supporting the modernisation of Lagos’s energy sector, building a foundation for broad and inclusive economic and social development.
The governor said that Lagos was the first state to come up with IRP initiative, adding that in spite privatisation, a lot needed to be done in the power sector.
”There has been some form of privatisation but we still need a lot more. There is a bill that is currently with the National Assembly, specifically in the House of Representatives, that we need to make a big case about.
”This Integrated Resource Plan is a concrete testament to the partnership between the United States and Lagos State, as we both work together to create a sustainable and equitable future,” he said.
Earlier, the Lagos State Commissioner for Energy, Olalere Odusote, said that the IRP was a milestone that would gradually take Lagos distribution away from the national grid.