3rd November, 2014
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola says the President Goodluck Jonathan-led Federal Government has no excuse for failing to provide electricity for Nigerians, calling for votes against the government.
The governor spoke while commissioning the 8.8MW Independent Power Project, IPP, recently, saying it was despicable that the Jonathan government had failed to deliver on its promise to provide the nation with electricity, which he said was not difficult to achieve.
“There is a danger that very soon, we will miss the lesson we have learnt over the years. This is because if a government makes a public commitment, the government must fulfil that promise. Electricity was not discovered yesterday, it is over 100 years old and no excuses will be acceptable from the federal government for not providing electricity.
“We are the only nation that has oil and gas and no electricity to its citizens. Angola and Gabon don’t have the kind of oil we have. There are many countries that do not produce oil and they enjoy electricity. Very soon we will make a choice on the next set of leaders and this will be done through the ballot papers,” he said.
Fashola stated that “when we made a promise that we will deliver IPP before the end of this year, we delivered it. We have no excuse to say that we can’t deliver. If the National Assembly wakes up tomorrow and said states should generate electricity, Lagos will do it comfortably. Let no one tell us that there is no gas, there is gas overseas.”
The governor said very soon, election would come, warning Lagosians not to cast their votes for people who could not deliver on their promises.
He said electricity has no tribe or religion, but just development.
The governor stated that the Mainland IPP was a collaborative effort between the Ministries of Works and Infrastructure and Energy, stressing that people in these ministries were both Muslims and Christians.
“Do not let anyone deceive you that this candidate or that candidate is not a Muslim or Christian, don’t vote for him. Religion will not bring electricity or food. Only good men and women will do so,” he said.
The governor also stressed the need for energy conservation, saying that people must be ready to pay for the electricity they consumed.
He said that from the last Ehingbeti, the government knew that it had to solve the state’s energy problem.
“Don’t be deceived by anybody that it cannot be done,” he said.
Also on the coming election, Fashola stated that whatever choice is made by the people during the poll would have its consequences, stressing that providing power for the populace should not take more than four years.
“Their best is not good enough, only the best is good for this country and the All Progressives Congress is the key. Lagos is the 5th largest economy and is not a place for beginners, but those who have the experience,” he said.
General Manager, Lagos State Electricity Board, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, said that for the state to address its power challenge, it would need 200,000 energy technicians with maximum age of 45 years old, saying this number is needed urgently, as the state’s population increases daily.
She explained that this was the reason the state government established the energy academy. “This will assist the government to provide the needed technicians within the next 15 years,” adding that the state government had created an application to assist residents to know the number of energy they consumed and what they waste as well as how they could prevent waste.