The three-day Lagos State Economic Summit tagged EHINGBETI 2014 was focused on electricity and proved to be well worth it.
Amongst other things the Lagos State Government unveiled plans to partner the electricity distribution companies to establish an embedded power solution mechanism in the state; all in a bid to bring to a halt the erratic power supply power that Nigeria has become infamous for.
At the summit, the Lagos State government revealed that its plans are already being executed and it has progressed towards the launch of the new power solution in collaboration with the Eko Electricity Distribution Company and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, which are charged with managing power distribution networks in the state.
The Chairman, West Power and Gas, (owners of Eko Disco), Charles Momoh, for his part, confirmed that the company has listed 45 firms and already is already in discussions with two electricity firms on captive power solution. He said there is a lot of ongoing work to improve power supply to the nation’s commercial nerve center.
He also said the shortage of gas from the national grid to the Eko and Ikeja Disco was a major cause of blackouts as the company has to ration electricity supply. He also said vandalism of electricity apparatus was not helping either.
The Managing Director, Sahara Power, (owners of Ikeja Disco), Kola Adesina, also pointed to the shortage of gas as the major cause of power cuts in the state and that vandalism was an economic crime, as well as a disservice to humanity, lamenting that the nefarious activities of vandals is causing tremendous pain to millions.
Adesina stated that if there was an increase in the supply of gas and thus an increase in power generation, the two distribution companies in Lagos – EKO Discos and Ikeja Discos - have the capacity to significantly increase distribution.
The Former Minister for Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji, who was the lead speaker at the session on Thursday April 10, 2014 said the entire country needed to have an audit just as Lagos State has done; insisting that without an audit the federal government had no way of knowing how much power the country actually needed and cannot gauge the demand for power the way Lagos State is able to do. He added that unless the challenge of poor electricity supply is surmounted there is no way the government would be able to significantly speed up economic growth. He said that the top 20 countries of the world have significantly tackled the issue of electricity supply to their people and China, which is one of them, is currently the world’s largest producer of power, while South Africa, Mexico and a few others generate power in excess of their local demand.
He said: ‘‘We cannot know the amount of power we need unless we do an audit. So, Lagos was right when it said it requires 10,000MW. If Lagos with a population of 20 million needs 10,000MW, you can imagine what Nigeria with about 170 million people needs. So, that means something has to be done’’.