Fashola Commissions Landmark Alausa Power Project
…Says solution to nation's economic problem is Made in Nigeria goods as Alausa Secretariat becomes first in the country to run its own power without diesel
Oct 17, 2013 - Lagos State Government on Thursday achieved another first as the State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) commissioned the 10.6 MW Alausa Power Project that would power the entire State Secretariat, Alausa and Obafemi Awolowo Way.
Asserting that the government has made an impactful intervention in terms of safety in motoring, safety for the city and security of life and property through strategic power projects, the Governor who spoke during the commissioning of the Alausa Power plant which was carried out in conjunction with Oando Gas and Fidelity Bank Plc explained that several places and landmarks like the Carter bridge which is a very critical bypass into Lagos which was abandoned for many years because it was unsafe has now been lit just like Simpson street in Lagos and the Ramp on Marina close to the Third Mainland Bridge.
He added that 12 streets have been recently lit up in Alimosho area and is already having enormous benefit because market women who hitherto closed at 5 or 6 pm are now trading into the wee hours of the night and that from recent studies their sales have already improved by over 50percent of what it used to be.
"The same is happening in the hinterland of Shomolu, people who fry Akara locally at the time before we got to Shomolu normally close at 6pm because they said it is not safe. Now the roasted plantain sellers and akara sellers sell till 11pm", he stated.
Governor Fashola reiterated that the solution to unemployment, jobs improved economic situation lies in made in Nigeria goods and expressed happiness that the Alausa Power Project is another made in project, delivered by a Nigerian government with two Nigerian companies using largely Nigerian personnel to solve a Nigerian problem.
"I see a lot of good coming out of the gloom and sorry stories. I see a lot of good. Those who continue to put our country down should continue but some of us can see the Nigeria of tomorrow and it would not happen by magic but by hard work. Some of us especially members of my team dared to dream and as long as they continue to dream we would deliver stuffs like this".
"I welcome you all warmly to the first secretariat that would run its own power without diesel on natural gas and clean fuel in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This could not have happened without Public Private Partnership (PPP). Go and check the balance sheets of Oando Gas and Fidelity Bank and the number of people they employ and you would see the gains of PPP", he emphasised.
The Governor said the Alausa Power Project which is coming on stream now will be a substitute for over 120 generators which are being used at the Secretariat at the last count which would also translate to an aggregate of 30 mw of inefficient megawatts of power which bothers on lost time, lost accountability, diesel supply and transport cost which would from today on now be history. The power freed through the commissioning of the Alausa Power Project will help improve power supply in the State.
"There are two more power plants to come and we will continue to focus on public power, schools, hospitals, streetlights, courtrooms and so on and so forth as well as religious institutions. There is a new IPP that is coming up in Lekki to power the Lekki Water Works, there is another one in Ikeja GRA that will help us power the General Hospital, the High Court, the Police Command and the Ikeja Water Works and all of those should be fully completed next year".
"In terms of public power we are making progress, we have seen the progress already made with the streetlights alone with the number of kilometers and it is significant to now mention the permanent lighting on Ikorodu road which is very visible every night when you are driving in and out of Lagos", Governor Fashola said.
He reiterated that whilst the State Government supports the power reform initiative by the Federal Government, she believes that the work that she has done here in terms of the detailed power audit, needs and demands will be useful to everyone.
"We already have transformer manufacturing plant and so we are going ahead to ensure that when the power is ultimately here the components to bring it to peoples' home will be available. What we hear before is that well, there is generation but there is no gas, so we don't what to get to that when the talk would be there is electricity but there is no transformers so we are already ahead of the curve and that factory will also be manufacturing meters in the plant", he explained.
The Governor said there is a social welfare component for the public officers of Lagos State as the new Power Plant has an impact in improving the work environment, the work quality, the work ethics reiterating that the reward for improved power supply is more work and improved efficiency.
Governor Fashola, however, also emphasized that there is a necessity for conservation by everyone because utilities will never be enough whether water or power as no nation has enough of it but that most societies reach optimal utilization by a mixture of provision and conservation.
"It is bad enough that we don't generate our own electricity, the public power is 12. 75k per kilowatts per hour but we are generating our power at sometime four or five times more than that. In Magodo for example, they spend N8Million a day in the whole estate on diesel when it should have cost them just about N2M on public power. Even Lekki spends about N12M a day when it should have cost them about N3Million a day. So this are the number we are seeing. If you buy energy saving bulbs, it may be more costly but you would save seven times more over a longer period when using it. So, which one is more economical, is it the issue of not buying a costly energy bulb once or continuously saving money in energy bills over a long period", the Governor explained.
Towards achieving conservation, the Governor also urged builders and architects to lead from the front by ensuring that when designing a building they consider options that would ensure that people do not end up with buildings that require generators or bulbs to be on even in daylight or buildings that require fans to be on during the daylight even when there is wind.
Earlier in his welcome address, the State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Engineer Taofik Tijani had stated that with the successful completion and handing over of the Alausa Power Plant which was powered by Oando Gas with financial support from Fidelity Bank Plc, the Lagos State Government is celebrating a cleaner environment that brings about longer life span.
He added that the new Alausa Power Plant which will power all the offices in the Lagos State Secretariat would bring about efficiency in terms of the work output and lead to a resultant increase in productivity from the workers and the state economy.
He said 120 high capacity diesel generators have been disengaged from work with the successful completion and switching on of the Alausa Power Plant by the Governor.
Also speaking, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Oando Oil, Mr Wale Tinubu said the new Alausa Power Plant will provide 10.6 Megawatts of electricity to the State Secretariat and will be powered by gas through an environmental friendly Lagos pipeline.
He added that the project which is another milestone in the relationship between the Lagos State Government and Oando Oil illustrates the significance of Public Private Partnership (PPP) and the benefits that come with it.
Mr Tinubu said Oando will continue to partner Lagos in the extension of the gas pipeline from Ijora across the river to Lagos Island to Victoria Island and Lekki, adding that efforts are also on provide additional power to the State Water Corporation.
In his address, the Managing Director of Oando Gas, Mr Bolaji Osunsanya said the Alausa Power Plant would be run primarily on gas and will reduce pollution that emanates from diesel generation that are currently in use across the secretariat.
He added that the Alausa Secretariat campus and Awolowo Road Street light would also be powered by the power plant thus enhancing the security of the citizens at night, adding that the strong commitment shown by the Lagos State government before the commencement of the project ensured that the negotiations did not flounder.
In his message of goodwill, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr Reginald Ihejiahi commended the Fashola led administration for the good work it is doing in Lagos, saying the Alausa Power Project is the third to be financed by Fidelity Bank in Lagos.
He said the Power project which will supply power to 62 buildings and 160 departments will make the state more efficient.
The General Manager of the State Electricity Board, Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi who also spoke at the event said by the end of this month, Lagos state will have 360 kilometres of fully lit public highways with 68 percent of such street lights being powered by diesel.
She said in addition, attention is also being paid to the underneath of major bridges on the highway to illuminate them and prevent nefarious acts of criminals adding that the State Electricity Board is currently running its office on solar and is looking at the possibility of how public schools can benefit from the solar lights.
She urged all residents of the State to visit the website of the State Electricity Board to make use of the household energy calculator available there in order to assist the people to calculate how much energy they use and what is being wasted.
The Governor later undertook a guided tour of the Power plant after switching on the power at the event which also had in attendance the Deputy Governor, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire, members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioners for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Ben Akabueze, Finance, Mr Ayo Gbeleyi and Chairman of the House of Assembly Committee on Energy, Hon Lanre Ogunyemi and several guests from different walks of life.