Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), at the weekend, said the federal government undermined the efforts of his predecessor, Senator Bola Tinubu, to generate electricity for the residents of the state.
The governor also lamented that the Tinubu administration then built the Ikorodu Power Plant (IPP), which he said, was designed to generate 270 megawatts, but the federal government diverted it to the national grid.
Fashola, who addressed issues relating to energy conservation and power generation through a social media, also listed different independent power projects (IPPs), which he said, had been duly executed between 2007 to day.
He explained how the federal government had denied the state rights to exclusive use the 270-megawatt power plant built with the state’s taxpayers’ monies at an energy conservation advocacy programme in Lagos.
But the governor said the administration of Tinubu “built the Ikorodu Power Plant with a capacity to generate 270 megawatts. What was generated from the plant was diverted to the national grid.”
According to him, it was never dedicated to the state, and the national government deducted its revenue from source for it.
He added that the present government had built another 12 megawatts to power her water supply at Akute.
The governor explained that the state “has also built a 10 mw independent power project on the Island which currently powers the General Hospitals, Lagos High Courts, the State House, some schools, churches and mosques on the island, the City Hall, the e-learning centre and so many public utilities.
“What we have done is to work within the framework of the Power Reform Act working with the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to provide our power where we can control and domicile the power for our own use.
“At this moment, we have concluded the dedicated power for Alausa, the seat of government and in a few days time during the energy month in October, we will switch it on and take off the whole of Alausa off the public power grid.”
He unveiled two other plants, which he said, would be completed in 2014 “to include the Mainland Power Plant that will serve Ikeja GRA, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Lagos Police Command, Ikeja High Court and Ikeja GRA and secondly the IPP which will power the waterworks in Lekki and some street lights and other amenities.”
He urged residents to switch over to energy bulbs, which according to him, saves eight times the amount of money which would have been expended on electricity everyday, using the regular bulbs which translated into saving more energy and putting more money in the pocket.
With the introduction of retrofitted bulbs in Alausa Secretariat, he said, the state government would save N2.8 million monthly on its energy spending since the introduction of the energy saving bulbs and was, therefore, making efforts at raising awareness among the populace on power conservation.
The governor also spoke on the plan of state government to introduce solar power in schools in the state; noting that the state was already looking at how to increase power supply to the schools through solar power.
According to him, “At the moment about 16 schools on the island are already connected to the IPP that we put together. There is so much that we are doing in order to increase power supply to the schools. We are also monitoring the energy demand in all the schools. Very soon, you will see an improvement in power supply to schools.”
He said the state government had audited 1,300 buildings, offices and restaurants and discovered that there were about 17,000 generators in those places which had resulted in many residents paying four times more through the generation of their own power rather than taking from the national grid.
He said: “In Magodo, the whole estate is spending N8 million on diesel daily, while it was connected to the grid, but will now spend a little over N2 million at N12.75k per kilowatts per hour. In Lekki, they spend N12 million daily on their own energy when on the public power; they will pay a little over N3 million as rate.
“Just by switching appliances off alone, you save 15 per cent at the start and it is in our enlightened best interest to engage in energy conservation through which we can also reduce poverty”.
Information from This Day was used in this report.