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Sanwo-Olu pursues state govts input in Electricity Bill

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has pleaded with the House of Representatives to permit state governments’ input into the Electricity Bill 2022.

According to Sanwo-Olu, allowing state governments’ involvement into the Electricity Bill 2022 will help resolve complicated problems related to Nigeria’s power generation, transmission, and distribution.

In order to increase citizens’ overall energy security, he made the call on Tuesday at Lagos House in Ikeja during the handover ceremony to mark the completion of the Lagos State Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

As part of the Nigeria Power Sector Programme (PA-NPSP), the IRP collaborated with Power Africa and the US Agency for International Development (USAID)

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The Integrated Resource Plan provides stakeholders with direction on the energy development requirements for Lagos State while acting as a template to enhance sector planning and coordination.

Federal and state authorities, regulators, power producers, energy transmitters and distributors, investors, and consumers are some of the stakeholders.

To meet the state’s residents, businesses’, industries’, and public/government facilities including hospitals and clinics’ long-term electrical needs, the plan will also include resource development plans for the following 20 years.

The governor claimed that Lagos was the first state to launch the IRP initiative and added that despite privatisation, the electricity sector still needed a lot of work.

He asserted that it would be preferable if each state determined its unique power requirements and offered appropriate solutions.

“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.

“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 asked all parties involved, including those present at the handover event, such as Ikeja Electric and Eko Disco executives, to not put the document on the back burner.

“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.

In his speech, Mr. Williams Stevens, the United States Consul-General in Lagos, referred to electricity as the foundation for trade, investments, and economic growth.

According to Stevens, the US government was eager to collaborate with Lagos State on the subject of power.

“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.

“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, Mr. Olalere Odusote, the Lagos State Commissioner for Energy, said that the IRP was a turning point that would progressively wean Lagos distribution from the national grid.

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