13th July, 2010
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) says the solution to power shortage in the country does not lie only with the building of more power plants but in the proper management of the power distribution companies and the distributed assets.
Fashola who spoke in an interview with newsmen during a break session at the on-going Joint Lagos State Executive Council and Permanent Secretaries Retreat holding at the Golden Tulip Hotel, FESTAC added that the state had written to the Federal Government to allow it take over the assets of the two distribution companies located in Lagos, the Eko Distribution Company and the Ikeja Distribution Company in partnership with the people who have indicated interest to use private sector funding and capacity to manage it.
Said he: â€œAs long as the Federal Government fails to articulate its intention in the power sector, no one will come forward with his money to invest. Until there is efficiency in the distribution end of the power chain, nobody is going to bring money into the power sectorâ€.
â€œWe did it with the telecom companies. Immediately the telecom companies got their licenses, they rolled out their mast and repeater stations, they issued bills and collected their money and continued to invest in infrastructure that kept the system goingâ€.
He said the National Assembly has passed the law on Power Sector Reforms and all that remains is for the Executive Council to complete the process by telling Nigerians what the roadmap to implementation would look like.
The Governor recalled that he has met several people in the last three years who have indicated interest in coming to invest in the power sector, but want a clear roadmap before doing so.
â€œThey have done this in Uganda in three years, they have powered 275,000 homes, the people who did it are ready to work with us but they need a clear roadmap. All we need now is the injection of capital and managerial skills and we are ready to go,â€ the Governor explained.
On the expected impact and high points of the on-going Joint Executive Council/Permanent Secretaries Retreat, Governor Fashola said the focus has been on an assessment of what the present government has been doing on a yearly basis and a daily basis and its impact on the people.
He explained that in many African countries, budget implementation and the ability to measure its impact on the people has always been a problem, adding however, that in the last three years, Lagos State has recorded increase in its budget performance on a yearly basis as it continues to re-invent itself.