The Lagos State Government on Tuesday said that so far, about 600km network of roads and streets in 366 locations across the State has been lit up under the ‘Light Up Lagos’ project initiated by the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode administration in the last one year.
The State’s Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Olawale Oluwo, who disclosed this at the ongoing Ministerial Press Briefing at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, said the project has seen the lighting up of major areas of the State including the Third Mainland Bridge, Ikeja and environs, Berger to Iyana Oworo axis, Muritala Muhammed Airport Road, Oshodi axis amongst others.
Oluwo said that in a bid to ensure the sustainability of the project, the State Government has fine-tuned plans to engage 54 private firms, who would be saddled with the responsibility of managing the streetlights going forward.
He explained that most of the street lights are connected to the five Independent Power Plants (IPP) in Lagos State namely; Akute Power Limited, Alausa Power Limited, Mainland Power Limited, Island Power Limited and Lekki Peninsular Power Limited, which, he said, saves the State Government significant cost that would have been incurred on operating and maintaining generating sets.
“The saved resources are now being channeled to lighting up more locations within the State under the operation “Light up Lagos” initiative of the present administration,” he said.
During the period under review, the Commissioner also said that the State Electricity Board rehabilitated Public Street Lighting in the 366 locations including the rehabilitation and connection of part of the Third- Mainland Bridge to the Island Power Plant all measuring close to 600km of Roads and Streets across the State.
He said that Governor Ambode has also given approval for the electrification of the 37 rural communities around Seme Border, adding that some streetlights hitherto managed by the federal agencies and local governments had been taken over by the State Government.
Oluwo however used the occasion to warn against destruction of streetlights pole and cables by the residents, saying whoever damages any street lights would bear the cost of re-fixing them.
Following the discovery of crude oil in the state by the Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company, the Commissioner said that the State has established Ibile Oil and Gas to manage oil related issues, assuring that Lagos will be a bigger business hub with the development as more employment would be created.
Oluwo said: “What this means is that we have own company that will not run like NNPC. Our own Ibile Oil and Gas will operate in upstream, midstream and downstream sector. It will not only be involved in exploration but is also going to probably build its own petrol station.
“We must be able to give Lagos Energy security such that if anything happens outside or NNPC shuts down operation, we must be able to power Lagos on energy basis. That is what Ibile Oil and Gas Company of Lagos is all about. We are interested in the future such that we can put Lagos in the position of having its own bloc. That is for the federal government to determine.”
Harping on the achievements in the power sector, the commissioner said that apart from aggressive installation of streetlights in all the nook and crannies of the state, the ministry has embarked on rural electrification and installation of solar power systems for Schools and Public Health Centers (PHCs) which have, in turn, improved the night economy, security, and tourism development.
On procurement of electricity transformers, Oluwo said that the ministry installed 49 transformers at various communities in Lagos, adding that a total of 19 500KVA, 11KV/33KV transformers were procured and installed in Palmgroove, Gbagada and Alimosho Estates.
“The second phase of our community electrification intervention plan is the reconnection of 32 communities in the Apa, Owode, Seme Border area of Badagry which had been cut off from the national grid for the past 16 years,” Oluwo said.