By Monsuru Olowoopejo
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, said the solution to the problem of power sector could be achieved in six months if the Distribution Companies, DISCOs, were ready to yield some percentages of their concessions to the state government.
Fashola made this statement at the commissioning of the 1.2 kilometer Glover Road and 8.5 megawatts, Peninsula Integrated Power Project, PIPP, Lekki, Eti-Osa Local Government Area.
The governor, while commissioning the fifth IPP, said: “Let the EKO DISCOs sign a contract with me, giving part of their concessioning to the state government. In about six to eight months, there will be power in all homes in Lagos State.
“So, let no one say that he has no money to deliver power for the entire country. This is the limit to which the law allows us to do, but we have done this to make a statement that power can be generated.
‘’So, when they come with lies that power is impossible, you can tell them that we have power here; we make it possible.”
He opined that the project showed that the money to improve the Nigerian economy is here, “since we don’t need the World Bank to come and do this for us.”
Fashola noted that he felt fulfilled with the conduct of youths that delivered the project, despite the difficulties in getting to the finishing point.
Explaining the importance of the project, the governor said the project, courtesy of the state government, in partnership with PIPP and Heritage Bank, would help to provide power supply to power the Lagos State public water corporations in Lekki Phase 1, Oniru, Victoria Island and Ikoyi, as well as over 25km of public lighting in the Lekki axis.
Earlier, Commissioner, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Engr. Taofeek Tijani, said the new addition was about continuity in public infrastructure programme of the state government.
General Manager, Lagos State Electricity Board, Damilola Ogunbiyi, said the state had shown that reliable and sustainable power projects are possible through the youths.
Ogunbiyi said though it had been a successful story, the state was just scratching the surface in its “aggressive development plan,” in the area of power.
Promoter of the project, Faruk Agoro, noted that the new IPP was an innovative idea of world-class natural gas-fired power generating facility, sold to the government by youths and it was bought into, to support government institutions, especially in the area of water supply and security.
Stage One is 8.5 megawatts, with the capacity for 30 megawatts. Lagos IPPs now has a total of 47 megawatts of electricity in total, powering public institutions around the state. The generated megawatts is however a tiny drop in the over 9,000 megawatts power deficit in the state.