Fashola Urges Patronage For State's Transformer Company, Power Conservation
…As Governor commissions NERC's Ikeja Forum Office
Sep 11, 2012 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday formally commissioned the Ikeja Forum Office established for electricity consumers by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) urging the commission and distribution companies to support the transformer manufacturing company in Lagos State by patronizing it.
The Governor who spoke at the new office located on Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja added that the transformer manufacturing company which is located in Badagry is already up and running.
He added that Nigerians must begin to look inwards as it cannot continue to feed other economies in order to support her own, adding that every transformer that is imported keeps a factory alive outside the country and contributes to the nation's unemployment.
"We are expanding that factory and as I speak, we are virtually completing the section of the factory that would also be manufacturing meters in Lagos State. So every investment, every meter you buy from that factory increases the capacity of that factory to employ more hands".
"If the demand increases, our children will get more jobs. We will be pushed to do more research. We will change the game locally and benefit considerably from our investment in power", the Governor stated.
The Governor said all Nigerians owe it a responsibility to conserve power because hardly can any one country provide all of the utility demands and energy demands of its people, stating that there is a responsibility to conserve water, because whenever there is wastage of water, power is needed to pump more water.
Governor Fashola also informed that the State Government has conducted a power audit which revealed very interesting results saying in Agidingbi, the State surveyed a total of 645 locations, finding 820 generating sets there and was generating 70 megawatts of power put together while only 28 megawatts was being used.
He added that in the Agidingbi area alone on a daily basis, about N16.8Million was being spent on diesel which mathematically translates to about N42 per kilowatts per hour which is a lot more expensive.
He added that the sampling has also gone on across areas like Ikeja, Oba Akran , Shomolu, Matori, Ikorodu and Lagos Island, stressing that in some places individuals are spending as much as N71 per kilo watts because of diesel to generate their own power.
"We found in G.R.A Ikeja, 804 generators from 798 sites that we surveyed. They were generating a total of 68 mega watts and they were consuming only 29. The rest was being wasted because we are not sharing".
"For us the amount of money that we waste on energy reduces our sustainable income, our disposable income. It makes production certainly more expensive. What can we do to conserve energy? It is also to be able to read and measure our individual energy consumption".
The Governor explained that in line with this objective, the State has created an energy calculator on its website known as www.lseb.gov.ng where each individual can access and calculate their energy needs.
He added that as the individual submits his energy needs on the website, the State is measuring and then able to collect the data which is shared with the Eko Distribution Company or Ikeja Distribution Company on what represents the actual power needs of the people in Lagos are.
He said the State Government is already working towards assisting the Ikeja Distribution Company in providing adequate power supply to the people as it is already working towards generating dedicated power for Alausa, adding that when it is completed, it will relieve the burden on the Ikeja Distribution Company so that the quantum of power being supplied to Alausa can be deployed to serve more residents.
In his address, the Minister of State for Power, Architect Darius Ishaku restated that provision of stable power will continue to get the highest attention of the present Federal Government in line with the plan of President Goodluck Jonathan.
He expressed gladness that the National Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), the civil society groups and other stakeholders have worked in harmony to create a forum office for consumers in the Ikeja Distribution area.
Architect Ishaku said Lagos as the commercial nerve centre will always get prime attention in terms of distribution of power that is generated, stressing that at present Lagos receives a total of 1124 megawatts of electricity generated from the national grid to meet its needs.
In his goodwill message, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Senator Philip Aduda said the Forum office being commissioned is one of the appeal levels of the Customer Complaints Redress Mechanism which seek to address complaints on issues of tariffs, blackouts, accidents, metering and even fraudulent practices.
He congratulated the Forum members for being chosen to serve the nation and urged them to bring their qualification and depth of experience to bear on the performance of the task as Forum members.
Also speaking in similar vein, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Power, Hon Patrick Ikhariale who was represented by Hon Abike Dabiri- Erewa commended the National Electricity Regulation Commission for putting in place the Forum office to address the complaints of consumers in the Ikeja distribution centre.
In his address of welcome, the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr Sam Amadi who was represented by Mr Abba Ibrahim said the commission is striving to ensure that vulnerable consumers are fully protected from exploitation by the service providers.
He added that the NERC is also striving to achieve a balancing act that would ensure that the business environment is good enough to attract investors both local and international to the electricity sector.
Dr Amadi said there is no doubt that Lagos State has distinguished itself through its commitment in ensuring that the State attains self- sufficiency in power through its various initiatives such as the Island Power, Akute Power and others which the commission is lending its full support to.
Also speaking, the CEO of the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Engineer O.C. Akamnonu said the commissioning of the office is a boost to continued efforts to improve service delivery and customer satisfaction.
Engineer Akamnonu who also contended that electricity is improving in the state, added that in the next 16 months every consumer in the state will be metred and that for those who have not been provided with meters the office will embark on a billing system that is fair and equitable taking cognizance of people in that cluster.
The Governor later cut the tape to formally hand over the building at the ceremony which also had in attendance the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Engineer Tafiq Tijani and General Manager of the State Electricity Board, Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi and consumers from the Ikeja distribution area.