… sets agenda for megacity status blue-print
BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI & MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
Lagos — Lagos State government has ruled out distribution of transformers and carrying out fresh electrification projects in the semi-urban and urban areas.
This was revealed by the Commissioner for Rural Development, Mr. Cornelius Ojelabi, who spoke to Vanguard in Ikeja on the highlights of the state’s 2013 Community Week Celebration.
Ojelabi, who noted that there’s high demand for transformers with an average of seven transformer requests daily from residents said: “With the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, we will still continue with the distribution of transformers to residents of the state, but this time, we will be focusing the rural areas.
“The rural areas are those places that we know the new investors can’t get to in the next five years while the semi-urban and urban areas will be left for the new investors to manage.
“As we receive requests for transformers from residents of urban and semi-urban areas, we will aggregate it and send it to the investors for distribution. All our projects will focuse more on rural areas, especially in terms of providing electricity.”
On why the state was still embarking on electrification projects, Ojelabi, stressed that the state government could not just hands-off from issues concerning electricity in the state hurriedly, otherwise residents will continue to have challenges with accessing electricity.
“As part of our activities, we will be driving the new investors to the rural areas because we know the state better.
“While those in the distribution, should focus on providing the pre-paid metres, with this, residents will only pay for the power supply they have used, “ he said.
Meantime, as part of its efforts to make the city of Lagos livable, the state government will hold a conference to examine the implications of attaining a megacity status as well as focus on health and social issues that characterise a megacity.
The conference tagged, ‘The Livable City; Preparing for the Mental and Social Health Needs of the Lagos Mega City,’ is expected to draw participants from members of the state’s Executive Council and other policy makers, lawmakers, city planners, journalists, public opinion leaders, leaders of private industry, leaders in the health, education, environment and social welfare sectors, religious and traditional leaders, as well as members of the general public.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who disclosed this, weekend, on the objective of the conference, said it was scheduled to start Thursday.