The Lagos State Government has reaffirmed its promise to providing sustainable power to all inhabitants by 2036.
The government also emphasized the importance of working with private investors to bring the initiative to fruition through energy decentralisation.
Mr. Olalere Odusote, the State Commissioner for Energy, stated this at the 3rd Lagos Real Estate Market Place Conference and Exhibition, which was organized by the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority, LASRERA.
Speaking on the topic; ‘Enabling the Lagos State Real Estate Industry through a thriving energy market in Lagos’, the Commissioner said that one of the key areas that the state was focusing was to ensure it achieved the Sustainable Development Goal 7, which is the provision of adequate sustainable space for people to exist.
Odusote stressed that the State was being proactive to ensure necessary infrastructures are in place to cater for the growing population.
“Lagos plays host to 13% of Nigerians and at the last count, we received about 750,000 migrants into Lagos on annual basis.
And when people move into Lagos, they are in slums, and as they start to find their footings, they move into single dwelling areas which is created by the government.
“So, Lagos must provide infrastructure from housing and energy as we are fighting over a limited budget to provide electricity, health, roads, housing, transportation for an increasing number of people, It makes sense to start looking at alternative means of funding,” he said.
He emphasized that one of the primary concerns of real estate development was energy and the availability of renewable energy for the people, emphasizing that access to electricity is required before beginning the process of energy transition.
“We are looking at cheaper ways of generating electricity, and we are reaching out to the private sector to develop a framework to ensure that everyone in Lagos has electricity by 2036,” he said.
“What we are trying to do is to give a realistic timeline for the universal access to electricity in Lagos and we are committed to this course because we must make Lagos a 21st century economy.
“We are doing everything to ensure alternative energy and clean up the air in Lagos and we are not just making promises, we are also looking at steps to make it achievable, so in the next few years, we will start to see the difference in the energy sector in Lagos.”
He maintained that there was a need for transitioning from heavy polluting temperature equipment to the lower and non polluting generation equipment.
The Commissioner maintained that the State Governmet has established an engagement with stakeholders to identify the infrastructure gaps towards achieving the goals of developing a sustainable electricity for the people.
He said “The private engagement has enabled the State to forge a robust collaboration with stakeholders which birthed the Lagos State electricity policy that looks at universal access to electricity for all residents.
“While we were working on the policies, we also look at the Infrastructure gaps, where identified and look at the Distribution, Transmission and Generation companies.
“We have completed the Draft Lagos State Electricity Law which is a review and repeal of the 2018 law and its at the State House of Assembly. The law takes regulations of the electricity market away from NERC at the center and domicile it with a Lagos State regulatory agencies.
“Now we can determine our fate when it comes to electricity, while the Lagos State regulatory agencies will work with the Local government and the State government to determine what the needs are for electricity market and make such regulations that will enable investors to come and invest in the identified gaps in the electricity infrastructure.”
He also added that the State was working with an Integrated resource plan which looks at energy forecast in Lagos over the next twenty years and identify the infrastructure gaps.
At the panel session, participants emphasised the need for provision of adequate infrastructure by a way of regulating the Sector with enabling laws that would drive the market.
They maintained that the price of the Diesel at the moment was not sustainable while re-echoing the issue of domesticating the supply chains, from inverter, batteries, wind electricity among others
They opined that electricity was a local business and the best model was to deregulate the sector for efficiency and the private sector must be encouraged to come in and unlock opportunities in the energy sector.
Above all, the participants advocated for energy mix, where Gas, Solar, lithium batteries among others are used as alternative energy in order to reduce the carbon footprint to cater for the pre-existing structure and structure in the future.