By Nosa Alekhuogie
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured residents of the state of improved access to sustainable electricity.
The governor gave the assurance in Lagos, during the launch of the Smart Metre Initiative tagged “The Lagos Smart Metre Hackathon 2020”
The initiative was launched during a virtual press conference organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, in collaboration with Eko Innovation Centre.
The Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, along with other government officials, were part of the programme.
Through the initiative, the Lagos State government will leverage the availability of bright local talents in Nigeria to develop and produce affordable smart electricity metres for consumers.
The initiative is expected to significantly reduce the revenue leakages in the sector and ultimately improve last-mile electricity supply.
Sanwo-Olu in his remarks stated that the launch, “marks a significant milestone in the implementation plan of the state government towards improving access to electricity in the state and it is also in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the UN, which aspires to drive universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.”
The governor added that increased electricity access remained one of the priority mandates of his administration given its significance in ultimately driving economic development of the state to enable it achieve the objective of making Lagos a 21st century economy.
According to Sanwo-Olu, “This Lagos Smart Metre Initiative is an important way for the Lagos government to demonstrate its commitment to improving electricity access and reliability for Lagosians. We believe that adequate metering of Lagosians and in turn Nigerians, would increase willingness to pay for electricity, improve productivity, and more importantly, continue to improve the living conditions of our people.
“Now, as we launch the Lagos Smart Metre Hackathon 2020, we call on all relevant stakeholders – electricity sector players, technology experts, investors, regulators – to support this worthy cause as we strive to ensure sustainable electricity for all in Lagos.”
In his keynote address, Jedy-Agba explained that local design and production of affordable metres would be transformational for the industry and the economy at large and therefore urged all to support it.
“Lagos is an important state in Nigeria in terms of size, economy and resources. With a population of over 20 million and the 5th highest GDP in Africa, Lagos is by far the biggest economy in Nigeria. Therefore, getting access to electricity right in Lagos is critical for access to electricity in the entire country.
“Electricity is an essential service, and we need to ensure that the benefits of smart meters flow to everyone. I call on all relevant stakeholders in the sector to support this innovative and impactful initiative– industry regulators, electricity sector players, technology experts, and fund providers,” Jedy-Agba said.
The Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Olalere Odusote said: “The initiative is expected to provide access to affordable smart meters for Lagosians to improve electricity supply, monitoring, and trust between electricity providers and end users while preventing revenue leakage.”