By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
The Lagos State government has called for an urgent review of Nigeria’s power generation and distribution law under the purview of the Federal Government based in view of the huge amount spent on diesel daily by industries especially the manufacturing sector in the state.
The state Commissioner for Energy, Olalere Odusote, made this call at the end of the 3rd Real Estate Market Place Conference and Exhibitions held in Victoria Island.
Speaking on the topic:” Sustainable Energy Solutions in Real Estate”, the commissioner said that personal energy generated by individuals, corporate organisations including real estate practitioners usually come with a huge financial burden in addition to the environmental pollution that comes with it.
According to him, the country’s real estate sector is still begging for huge investments in the area of power to make the sector more viable and attractive to potential investors.
He explained that this became necessary as most private individuals and businesses in Lagos utilised diesel-powered generators rather than electricity from the national grid.
According to him, the two distribution companies in Lagos State – Eko Disco and Ikeja Electric – established nine years ago, sell about 800 to 900 megawatts initially and have only improved to 800 to 1,000 megawatts nine years after.
“Nothing has changed in the national grid sector nine years after. However, Lagos State within a spate of nine years had grown from having about 8,000 megawatts of installed diesel capacity to about 23,000 megawatts.
“The diesel market of the off-grid market has grown by about 300 per cent but the grid market has not grown at all or just about one to two per cent,” he said.
He added that the state injected almost 1,000 transformers into the grid to improve electricity supply to its residents, but without the desired result.
Odusote said a lot of the energy utilised in Lagos came from diesel generators, and that because of the high population of the city, the emission from that energy source had become unsustainable.
The commissioner explained that Lagos had been projected to be city with the largest population in the world in 50 years, therefore energy for the housing infrastructure needed for the population must be put into consideration.
Odusote said that was why the state government came up with the Lagos Electricity sector policy, with the aim of providing universal access to electricity for all residents of the state.
He stated that the draft of the Lagos electricity law had been completed and was before the state’s House of Assembly for consideration.
Odusote explained that the bill, when implemented, would take regulation of electricity from the centre and domicile it with the Lagos regulatory agency.
“The Nigerian constitution domiciles the responsibility of regulation and distribution of electricity with the state government but when the law was passed in 2002, many states were not ready for the responsibility.
“Many housing estates in the state run on diesel generators because they are unable to benefit from the grid, yet they cannot share from the excess capacity they currently have because the Federal Government does not permit it.
“Lagos is now ready, willing and in the process of passing the law. It means we will be able to locally determine our faith when it comes to electricity,” he said.