By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo
LAGOS — President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, said he has approved the construction of two emergency power plants for Lagos State, to tackle the problem of power generation and distribution in the state.
Jonathan also said discussion was on-going between the Federal Government and the state government on the allocation of two of the five new rail corridors to the state in the actualisation of its Lekki Free Trade Zone, LFTZ.
The president who was represented by the Minister for Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, disclosed this at the commencement of sixth Lagos Economic Summit, EHINGBETI 2012, with the theme ‘From BRICS to BRINCS: Lagos holds the key.’
He explained that the Federal Government considered the projects very important because for the country to achieve its full economic potential, Lagos State holds a key role in that dream.
According to him, “as part of the Federal Government strategy to increase power capacity this year, we are working on two important power plants to be cited in Ijora and Egbin, Lagos.
“This is part of the Federal Government strategy to increase power capacity this year. And it is meant to give Lagos State an adequate and sustainable power supply.
Speaking earlier, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State said there was more that could be done by the Federal Government in its pursuit to reform the power sector, and attract private capital to the sector of the country, “just as we are doing in Lagos state.”
According to Fashola, “I am convinced that steady power is possible as we have demonstrated with our three Independent Power Projects at Ikorodu, Akute and Lagos Island.”
We are also currently pursuing that at the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, Lekki, GRA, Ikorodu, Matori and Imota Industrial Schemes.
“I imagine that in addition to offering 11 existing distribution companies for private participation, the process will become much more attractive if the Federal Government considers the licensing and operation of Greenfield distribution companies for investors to compete with the existing ones in vital catchment areas like Lagos, where the demand is enormous.
“I make this suggestion in the light of our experience from the telecommunications sector, where Greenfield licenses were sold to compete with NITEL, and the success that they have recorded.”
Ms. Razia Khan who is the Vice president , Africa Region , Standard Chartered Bank London in her summit keynote speech noted that though the country has the enormous resources and population needed to drive development its potentials would not be fully realized if other indices of growth are not well harnessed.
Khan remarked that most of the reforms in Lagos state in the area of infrastructural development , technological advancement and tax utilization could result in sound economic growth , lamenting that there may be mass migration of people to other parts of the country to evade the system
The summit had in attendance the Governors of Ogun State Senator Ibikunle Amosun and his Ekiti state counterpart Dr. Kayode Fayemi .