Govt Repositions Power Needs Of Residents


In a strategic move aimed at developing capacity to fully attend to the power needs of residents and explore the hydrocarbon, oil and gas potentials of the state, the Lagos State Government has upgraded its Office of Energy and Mineral Resources to a full-fledged ministry.

The new ministry, which was formerly a department in the Governor’s Office, is now headed by a seasoned energy expert, Engineer Taofik Tijani, who was sworn in on Monday as Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources during the State Executive Council Meeting presided over by Governor Babatunde Fashola.

The ministry has since swung into action, as its commissioner and other top government officials joined Governor Fashola in hosting a high profile Federal Government delegation led by the Minister for Power, Professor Bartholomew Nnaji, who was in Lagos to explore areas of collaboration between the State and the Federal Government in power generation and distribution.

Fielding questions from newsmen after the meeting, Governor Fashola explained that it was all about exploring every possibility to improve power supply and distribution in the state in fulfillment of the promise he made to Lagosians at the commissioning of the Lagos Island Power Project recently.

Governor Fashola, who said he has been talking to the Minister for Power and related agencies like the Nigerian Gas Company and others to come on board to find solution to the nation’s power problem, declared, “You will recall that when we opened the 10 megawatts Island Power Project here, I promised Lagosians that we would do everything that we could to scale up the power to 114 megawatts.”

The governor, however, explained that gas supply has been standing on the way to the fulfillment of that promise, adding that the Minister for Power has been quite business-like in his approach to finding a solution to the problem.

Governor Fashola, who also explained the background to the meeting to include ways to remove barriers to investment in the power sector, declared: “Power is an area where currently the business end, the distribution end is no go area for states. It is a disincentive to invest in power. If you can’t distribute the power you generate, why should you make the investment?

“I have been talking to the Minister for Power, Professor Barth Nnaji since his appointment. This is the first of many meetings that you will see. A few problems are within reach now that I believe we can solve. The minister has expressed his commitment to do everything to remove the barriers that stand in the way of our partners. So, I am keeping the promise I made to explore every possibility to make things better for our people”, the governor said.

Also speaking with newsmen after the meeting, the Minister reiterated that the meeting was to explore ways of collaboration with Lagos State Government in a bid to solve the power problem in the country.

According to the Minister, “We will be solving aspects of the power problem in phases. We won’t say it will be solved today. The truth is for sure, the problem of power will be solved in Lagos sooner than in a lot of places because Lagos is nicely located.”

“Because Lagos is near the sea, that can hasten certain solutions that you won’t be able to bring inland,” the Minister said, adding: “We are going to explore everything.”


Also present during the occasion were Engineer Femi Oladunjoye, Executive Director, Negris (the consulting company handling the Island Power Project), officials of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) like Executive Director Transmission, Engnr. Olufemi Akinniranye, CEO, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Engnr. Chris Akamauan, CEO, Eko Distribution Company, Engnr. Ayo Obilomo, Technical Assistant, Engnr. Simeon Atakulu among others as well as members of the State Executive Council like the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamza, his Commerce counterpart, Mrs. Olusola Oworu and the Special Adviser, Public Private Partnership, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi, among other top government officials.

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