Lagos to Concession 10-Lane Okokomaiko-Seme Border Road Project

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  •  Reveals plan to ensure stable power supply

Gboyega Akinsanmi

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode at the weekend disclosed that the state government was ready to concession Okokomaiko-Seme Border road, which it said, would be a win-win situation for the overall benefit of the people.

Ambode, also, disclosed that the state government was working hard “to bring about constant power supply to all homes and businesses in the state by the end of 2018.”

He disclosed the plans at an interactive session with captains of industry in the state, noting that the state government “is ready to partner with any investor willing to key into his administration’s massive infrastructural renewal drive in critical sectors.”

At the session, the governor acknowledged the significance of public-private partnership (PPP), which he said, was critical “to accelerate development and that the government is open to collaborate with interested investors.”
Specifically, Ambode explained that the state government would be willing to partner with any investor interested in taking up the second phase of the Mile 2 to Seme Border road, a 10-lane road project with median light rail project.

He said: “At the moment, work is already ongoing from Eric More to Okokomaiko but we are willing to partner with any investor interested in taking up the construction of the second phase which is ten-lane road from Okokomaiko to Seme Border.

“If we are able to achieve the road project, it will definitely open up and transform the western axis, especially Badagry forever, and the project will also complement the massive projects being undertaken in the axis,” the governor said.

On power supply, Ambode lamented that the political geography of the country was already affecting the state’s visionary strategy “to solve the power challenges being essentially in the control of the Federal Government.”
He explained that the state government had devised strategies to short-circuit power generation, transmission and distribution to ensure constant power supply to the people of the State, noting that were already at advanced stages to bring about constant power supply to all homes and businesses by 2018.

He revealed that the state government “is also in talks with electricity distribution companies operating in the state to see possibility of supplying 24/7 power to residents at a bit higher tariff than what currently obtains subject to agreement of all stakeholders, while government would be the guarantor of the people.

He, also, revealed that the legal framework “to prevent power theft and also legitimise the concept of power generation had already been sent to the State House of Assembly for approval. Presently, we have less than 1,000 megawatts in Lagos and the fundamental issues remain with generation, transmission and then distribution.

“Who is transmitting power? It is still owned primary by the Federal Government. However, in Lagos State, we have become creative and we have done Independent Power Project (IPP) before through which we were able to generate 47.5 megawatts which was distributed short-circuiting transmission.

“So, if it works, does it look like a template we can now use to get power freedom or what we call power security? If we say we are the fifth largest economy in Africa and we are not in control of how power is generated in an economy that wants to move from fifth to third, then something is wrong. So, what we are saying is let’s find a way to short-circuit them within the ambit of the law.

“If the law allows you to have independent power and going through the regulatory commission then you are smart enough to do that. The only thing we have done is to get permission from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to create clusters of embedded power in our State and if we are able to do it, we become a test case for the rest of the economy.”

On the state’s plan to collaborate with power distribution companies operating in the state, the governor said the state government was willing to stand as the guarantor for the people to get 24/7 power supply.

“Can we have a mid-point on how to get 24/7 power? The generator that people are using is extremely expensive. Can we work with all these stakeholders and push the tariff for example from N20 to N40 in order to guarantee 24/7 power supply?

“So, if I am able to do that and I get public confidence, I will just stand on behalf of Lagos residents to say this is the new tariff we all agree to pay. If we can provide people 24/7 power supply, they are likely to pay the new tariff. In case they do not pay, I get financially exposed as a result. But we working to achieve 24/7 power supply.

“We become the guarantor on behalf of Lagos residents and then if all those things work out, by this time next year, people will have constant power supply. As a government, we are strongly committed to power freedom; we want to free ourselves from darkness and we want to open up the sector for more investors.”