Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has advised residents of Iponri Estate in mainland Lagos to organise themselves properly if they are serious about enjoying interrupted power supply through solar energy.
The residents informed the minister of their desire to use solar energy which is being used by owners of shops at the Iponri market in their neighbourhood.
“They have seen what we have done in the market close to them by electrifying 450 shops and we are going to electrify the whole market and they are saying can’t we benefit from it. We say they can. What our government has done there is to create an opportunity for business; we are not the ones who pay for the system. We went to the market, spoke to the market women who said they didn’t have enough energy, and asked them if they were ready to contract to private services and they said yes. We did the audit, shared the document with businesses and one of them said they were interested in doing this.
“We met with the leaders of the market and they signed the contract and 450 of them now have uninterrupted power from solar panels. They got a fan, energy saving bulbs and they told me that they are happy with what they are getting. Instead of paying N1000 or N2000 per day for a few hours, they have energy the whole day from morning to evening.
“This estate wants it, so I said put yourselves together as a group, we will come and conduct the audit if you have agreed and we will look for business men who can do this.”
This policy, he said has a job creation advantage because new people are doing business and people are getting employed.
While seeking the support of his constituents in Ward G3, Fashola appealed to the residents not to sell their votes, adding that he embarked on the neighbourhood consultation to meet people he described as influencers in their own rights.
“Everyone of these people we have come to meet here are also influencers in their own rights; they are influencers in the market unions, in youth football clubs, Churches and Mosques and in allied societies. This is an election about making sensible choices, so there are no emotions anymore.
He urged them to vote the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 general elections, explaining to them the new voting process of accreditation and voting immediately rather than do the accreditation and go home to return later to vote.
He also said if anybody had an issue with the card reader, she or he could still vote provided their name is on the voters register and they have their PVC. All they need do is to thumb print against their name on the register.
The Minister explained to them that the encumbrances that made people waste time at the polling units while trying to cast votes in the past had been removed.
He said that government had also put in place a maintenance framework to ensure roads stay in good, motorable condition.
The Chairman of the Iponri Residents Association, Mr. Tayo Ogunlade, drew the attention of the minister to some dilapidated infrastructure and some parts of the estate that was sinking.
Other residents during the interactive meeting took turns to thank the Buhari administration for construction of some major routes leading into the estate.
The minister also held a similar meeting with residents of Ward G2 in Alaka Estate, where he reminded them of the road projects being done across the country, particularly in Lagos and their neighbourhood road that have been inundated by trucks and tankers.
He said the issue was be addressed with the construction of rail lines and that the contractor handling the Olorugun Michael Ibru Boulevard (former Creek Road) to Mile 2 was mobilized about 10 days ago.