By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has stressed the need for the Federal Government to review downwards the existing tariffs on imported raw materials for the manufacture of transformers in Nigeria.
Fashola, made the call at the Commissioning of a transformer factory of El Sewedy Electric Nigeria Ltd located along Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Badagry. The facility is being run under partnership with the state government with the state Ministry of Commerce and Industry supervising.
Fashola said: “Companies like El Sewedy Electric Nigeria Ltd were, therefore, in a comfortable zone to make their mark and contribute to the country’s quest for sustainable power production and distribution.”
He noted that the achievements of the administration of the state’s past governor, Bola Tinubu, through the Lagos State Independent Power Project, IPP, remained a flagship of courage and innovation in independent power generation in the country.
He said: “We have continued in this path by initiating some more IPP in collaboration with the private sector. As at today, one of the IPP initiatives has already been commissioned while others are at various stages of development.
Akute power plant
“At Akute, the power project is already up and running with a capacity to deliver 12 Megawatts of electricity, which is being channelled to the state water corporation to facilitate continuous supply of portable water.”
He added that works were ongoing on the Lagos Island IPP which is targeted to deliver 15 Megawatts of electricity in two phases of 7.5 Mw each to power the General Hospital, Island Maternity, High Court, Magistrate Courts, and about 30 streets lighting projects on the Island.
Presently, the factory has in its employment not less than 100 workers and intends to employ additional 30 workers within one month.
The factory also affords the opportunity of saving the huge foreign exchange previously spent on importation of transformers and also guarantees ready availability of products.
Prior to its establishment, in 2009, the state government was only able to supply 108 transformers between 2007 and 2008 to communities in the state for its rural electrification programme against the annual average demand of about 700 transformers.
With the establishment of the factory, 200 transformers were allocated to communities in 2009 alone, despite the fact that the factory was yet to be commissioned, with an installed capacity of 1,400 transformers per annum.