Fashola Commissions Transformer Manufacturing Company
Urges FG to review tariff rate on transformer components
Oct 19, 2010 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday commissioned the first transformer manufacturing industry in West Africa, pleading with the Federal Government to consider a downward review of the tariff charged on the imported components used in the manufacture of transformers.
Governor Fashola who spoke at the transformer factory of El Sewedy Electrical Nigerian Limited, a joint venture between the Lagos State Government and the EL Sewedy Group of Cairo, Egypt, located at Toga-Zanmu in Badagry added that a downward review will encourage more investors like EL sewedy to invest in Nigeria.
The Governor said with the successful production of transformers in Nigeria by El Sewedy, it has been proved beyond reasonable doubts it is very possible to generate electricity locally in Nigeria.
The Lagos State Governor asserted that the time has come for proffering African solution to African problems, noting that the perseverance displayed by El Sewedy before the project came full stream might not have been possible with a foreign organization.
Governor Fashola said the fact that electricity has not failed in Cairo, the home base of the company where it plays a major role in the power sector, is a testimony to the capabilities of the El Sewedy company which is also present in many parts of Middle East and Africa.
"Let us begin to deploy African solution to African problems. There is no rocket science in what we have done. In many parts of the world transformer manufacturing is part of a cottage industry and it should not be different in Lagos or any other parts of the country".
"Regular and steady electricity remains the only missing infrastructure that is mitigating against the growth of the economy of this country and the actualization of the potentials of our people, their freedom from poverty and as long as we remain in Government here we commit to putting the misery of electricity behind us once and for all", the Governor said.
Giving practical examples, Governor Fashola stated: "if you want to imagine how simple life would be with electricity, just think of how much extra you pay to grind pepper, how much extra you use to transport yourself, to get water supply and diesel to power your generator at home, you will realize that you will save more and be walking away from poverty with smiles on your face"
The Governor was certain that the administration will put behind the issue of shortage of electricity noting that the administration had a solid foundation to build on from the pioneering role played by the immediate past administration in the state which led to the breakaway from the former National Electric Power Authority's monopoly by delivering the first Independent Power Project in the country.
He explained that the present administration has followed on that first by delivering another Independent Power Project that has delivered 12megawatts to Adiyan and Akute waterworks as at today.
The Governor informed that the administration has not stopped there but has put another IPP on stream which hopefully by the first quarter of 2011 would have delivered another 15 megawatts that would supply electricity to the whole of the Central Business District on the Lagos Island.
Other benefiting areas according to the Governor would include the Lagos General Hospital, Island Maternity Hospital, State House, Lagos High Court and at least 30 streets which would be taken be off diesel power supply by the first quarter of next year.
He said the successes of the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration, in which he also served, has challenged the present Government to intervene in the area of power distribution since the availability of power logically brings up the issue of transmission, taking it to the roads with cables, transformers and meters.
Governor Fashola said the next stage is to commit at least 20million US Dollars to the manufacture of meters and El Sewedy is interested in investing up to 100million Dollars in the generation of power.
He said the unveiling of the power sector reform by the Federal Government will even make things easier in the sector and provide the opportunity for the State to make the investment.
Commending the board and management of El Sewedy, Governor Fashola declared: "We will continue to work with you shoulder to shoulder to ensure that your partnership ideals and your investment intentions are realized for our mutual benefit and the benefit of our people".
"What has happened here is a simple manifestation of what can happen when a Government has time to plan and to implement the plan. It can only happen in a democracy. The idea did not start today"
In his words: "The first milestone is behind us. What was a dream has become a reality and it happened in less than two years. We are sure it is not rocket science. Our people are already employed here, not less than a 100 people are already working here".
He reiterated that the produced transformers are already strengthening the rural electrification programme of the State Government with the entire request for transformers in the state to be purchased from the factory so that the money, the economy and the jobs would be kept locally.
Governor Fashola said the factory and the whole economy of the area and even neighbours on the West coast of Africa will benefit from the infrastructure development which the State has committed to the area through many of the ongoing road projects like the Badagry Expressway and the Igbo Elerin road.
In her welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu said the completion of the project is another manifestation of the successful collaboration with the private sector in project implementation.
He disclosed that the project is a joint venture between El Sewedy Group of Egypt(94.74%) and the Lagos State Government(5.26%) as equity contributions.
Whilst congratulating the people of Badagry on the project, Mrs Oworu said coupled with the on-going expansion of the Lagos- Badagry Expressway, the culturally rich and historically relevant town has been positioned for unprecedented growth in commercial activities.
Also speaking, the Chief Investment Officer of El Sewedy, Mr Mohammed Radwan said the successful completion of the project is an example of mutual cooperation and hardwork .
He informed that the company is planning to invest about 100 million dollars in electricity generation through production of electric meters.
Mr Radwan said El Sewedy enjoys over 70 years experience of producing quality energy products across the globe and does not consider itself as a foreigner anywhere in Africa.
He was certain that the company is in Nigeria to provide job opportunities and transfer technology, explaining that the company saw the opportunity and accepted the challenge to do what it takes to achieve the determined goals.
The Governor cut the tape to commission the factory before undertaking a guided tour of the facility with some of the dignitaries.
Prominent among those who were present at the event were the Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan, members of the State Executive Council, members of the Legislature at both the State and national levels, Chairmen of Local Government Council and Development Areas, traditional rulers like the Oba Akran of Badagry, Aholu Menu Toyi I, the Egyptian Charge D'Affaire, Sherif –Elleithy and other dignitaries.