Energy: Fashola Advocates Conservation Culture In All Sectors
May 14, 2013 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday witnessed the Lagos State Power Kids Awards 2013 grand finale, enjoining Nigerians to imbibe the culture of conservation as a way of life in all sectors, but especially in the energy sphere.
The Governor who spoke at the Memorable Gathering Hall, Alausa, before a capacity assembly of pupils who are members of the Power Kids Club in 30 secondary schools across the state, their tutors and other stakeholders, explained that making conservation a way of life would guarantee everyone the opportunity to see and enjoy the future.
Noting that Nigerians might express scepticism about the call for energy conservation especially in the face of inadequate power supply, Governor Fashola argued that the nation would not attain electricity self sufficiency unless the people use energy very prudently and efficiently.
Governor Fashola explained that the launch of the Power Kids Programme in the State was part of his administration's long standing plan to make the citizens understand the importance of conserving energy.
He declared, "Our plan is to add another 20 schools in the next programme so that we will take the number of schools participating in the programme to 50. This initiative will always be about rewarding excellence in education. It is my hope that this would serve as a motivation to the schools to continue to improve".
The Governor, who also expressed delight at the results of some of the experiments that have been carried out by the students, said "it only confirms the fact that once the mind can conceive an idea, the hand will deliver it".
According to the Governor, "The results have shown that all that the children needed was a platform to express themselves and the Power Kids initiative has given them a platform to express themselves".
"Today the per capital consumption of electricity is considered to be an index of the development of any country. As you can imagine our country is still struggling for that index but we can pick ourselves up. The demand for energy especially in the form of electricity and petroleum products is increasing. We should know that the sources of energy are limited and becoming exhaustive", the Governor said.
"Energy consumption", according to Governor Fashola, "is expected to grow by a third over the next two decades alone, so our capacity to consume will increase. The resources that will supply them are not indicative of going up but on the contrary they are decreasing".
He explained further that based on the limited resources available, it is the energy efficient communities that will win adding, "Some of the things that we have done is to develop energy saving tips and posters which we have pasted in schools".
Expressing confidence that conservation could gain widespread acceptance if people paid attention to it, Governor Fashola said if Nigerians could develop the lexicon of "flashing" as a means of conserving money through mobile phone communication, the same strategy should be transferred to the power sector.
The Governor said the State Government has already taken leadership from the front by ensuring that both the old and the Alausa Secretariat are refitted with energy saving bulbs adding, "We have seen the result in the amount of power we are consuming, the electricity bills we are paying and the savings we are making for tax payers".
"It can also happen in your homes and in our country. It is not just energy in terms of electricity bulbs but it concerns so many things we have to conserve including paper, we need to reuse paper in order to save cost, we need to recycle wherever we can", the Governor said.
He told the audience, "As we have been educated here today, we should always switch off electricity supply when we don't need them and ensure that you use energy saving bulbs when you have to".
Expressing dismay that the faulty billing system in the country has largely aided the culture of wastage of energy Governor Fashola declared: "Most of you who are students of history will realise that most of the advanced nations of today once experienced a period of backwardness and underdevelopment because at the Dark Ages, Europe was a land of disease, disorder and deaths. I believe that out of our challenges, we can rebuild and I can see that in our children in the power sector".
Governor Fashola also advised the people to always conserve water, adding that by conserving water, energy is being conserved as it is impossible to get water into the individual homes without connection to power.
"The more water we consume, the more energy we will use, the more we will pay and therefore if you begin to conserve and save water you will save money. If you don't put on what we don't need, it is easier for other people to also benefit. We are not optimal in using what we have. If we conserve what we have, it will go round many more people", he stated.
The Governor commended the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources which would soon turn two as well as the State Electricity Board through its head, Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi for conceiving the programme which, according to him, "will catch the kids young", adding that before the power sector reforms came, Lagos State was thinking ahead.
He recalled that the Power Kids Awards did not start as an energy award but started as an education initiative which was however worked on and developed by Mrs Ogunbiyi on the prompting of the Governor.
"I asked Mrs Ogunbiyi if there was anything we could do in terms of organising an excursion for the children. My simple idea was to connect these children early in life with the challenges they are going to deal with in the future", the Governor said.
"My generation did not know how electricity was being generated, we don't know how the water we drink is being made and we are so disconnected from our society. Now she has gone beyond a picnic. She has created a Club, she has continued to teach and it is difficult to ask for more. The power of youthfulness and the dynamism of dreams and the commitment of public officers have delivered a Power Kids Club whose appeal is growing by the day and whose possibilities are unlimited", the Governor said.
Governor Fashola thanked Messrs Tanus Communication led by Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi for its support to the Power Kids Initiative with the donation of two fully equipped multimedia classrooms that would be powered by solar energy to be installed in the winning school of the Lagos Power Kids programme.
Speaking earlier, the General Manager of the State Electricity Board, Mrs Ogunbiyi said the 30 participating schools in the Power Kids Awards were selected on merit, adding that the students were exposed to practical training which included being taken to the electricity power stations.
She stated that the whole initiative was about encouraging the young ones on how to generate and conserve electricity power supply, adding with what the pupils have gained they have become more knowledgeable than many experts who advise on power.
She also implored parents to always get a grown up to regularly check the plugs and sockets and ensure that if any form of scratches is noticed, they should be repaired on time.
Master Osadare Gideon of Iju Junior Grammar School, Iju emerged as the Power Kid of the year while Aiyedere Ajibola Junior High School emerged as Power School of the year while 30 pupils from each of the participating schools were also honoured..
Prominent among those who witnessed the event were the members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Commerce and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu, Energy and Mineral Resources, Engineer Taofik Tijani, Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Ben Akabueze and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Mrs Regina Obasa and Office of Works, Mr Paul Bamgbose-Martins.