Senator Gbenga Ashafa
By Gboyega Akinsanmi
The Lagos State Government has unveiled its plan to achieve 3,000 megawatts of power generation, which it said, would be realised through its independent power projects (IPPs) before the end of the 2014 fiscal year.
Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Taofiq Tijani, said this at a recent breakfast organised for 15 graduates of the Youth Energy Career Programme (YECP), which was sponsored by Senator Gbenga Ashafa and implemented by the state Electricity Board (LSEB).
Speaking at the event, the commissioner explained that the plan to generate 3,000 megawatts would be realised through continuing partnership with private sector investors in the state power sector
He said Lagos megacity with estimated 18 million people would be in need of about 12,000 megawatts of electricity. But it currently receives less than 1,000 megawatts from the national grid.
Tijani said the state government was hopeful that within not less than 3,000 megawatts of electricity “will be generated in the next two years. With these and other IPPs still expected to come on stream before the end of the Babatunde Fashola led administration in 2015”.
But Ashafa, who initiated the programme for the young graduates about six months ago, said developing local manpower in the power sector “remains a key to realising stable power supply in the country".
The lawmaker, who is representing Lagos East in the Senate, called for massive private sector participation, which he said, should be encouraged to solve crises of irregular and unstable power plaguing the country in the
In his address, Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi, harped on the urgent to train quality manpower that would man the sector as the power roadmap of the Federal Government and the PHCN privatisation expected to attract fresh investments in the economy unfolds.
Amadi added that Lagos had taken the right step in view of the need to have what he called “young innovative engineers” capable of handling multiple tasks as experienced hands were getting old and retiring from the sector.
But in the last couple of years, the state government in partnership with some private investors had successfully executed two IPPs to add some more megawatts to the state.
The IPPs include the Akute Power Plant (12.15MW) at the Akute/Adiyan Waterworks in partnership with Oando Plc and Lagos Island Power Plant (270 MW) in collaboration with AES Nigeria, a subsidiary of AES USA.
The Akute IPP is dedicated to powering the Akute Waterworks, one of the biggest sources of water supply to Lagos, while the Island IPP powers street lights and selected public institutions around the CMS area.