Lagos Assembly holds public hearing on Electricity Bill

By Adekunle Williams

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday held a public hearing on the state’s Electricity Bill 2024 ,which aims at improving electricity supply  in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN)reports that the bill is titled:” A bill for a law to repeal the Lagos State Power Sector Reform Law 2018, to provide for the creation and administration of the Lagos Electricity Market and other connected purposes.”

The  bill, if passed into law, will empower the state government to licence, generate, transmit, and distribute electricity to unserved and underserved areas of the state.

The Speaker of the House of Assembly ,Mr Mudashiru Obasa, said during the public hearing ,that the bill ,if passed into law, would improve the electricity situation in the state as  the Federal Government had put electricity on the concurrent list.

Obasa, represented by the Deputy Speaker, Mrs Mojisola Meranda, said the state was being  proactive with the bill.

“It is the convention of the House to convene the meeting of great minds and relevant stakeholders to deliberate and ponder on this bill that is currently before the House.

“The bill today is seeking to create an agency of the government that would provide, regulate and administer electricity in Lagos State.

“This bill is most timely because electrification is one of the most important aspects of a viable economy and improvement of the well-being of the people.

“Being a responsible government, the state government has decided to create an agency in to ensure adequate access to electricity, using  modern technology in the delivery of electricity service.

“The bill seeks to facilitate the delivery of affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern public electricity access to consumers in the state,” he said.

The Speaker said the bill would also establish a mechanism for electricity planning in the state, and promote the provision of off-grid solutions for households and micro, small and medium- scale enterprises .

He explained that it would also promote the adoption of clean and modern technology for the provision and delivery of electricity.

Speaking ,Chairman, House Committee on Energy, Mr Sabour Oluwa,said  the bill would establish a commercial and technical regulatory framework for the state electricity market and ensure reliable and universal access to electricity for all residents of the state.

Oluwa said the 2023 constitutional amendment (5th Amendment) empowered states to regulate electricity.

He added that the amendment led to the creation of the bill to provide the legal framework necessary for the state to deliver sustainable, clean, and affordable electricity to its residents.

He said: “The bill outlines the creation of the Lagos State Electrification Agency to manage public electricity works and infrastructure, as well as the Lagos State Electrification Fund.

“These institutions will play pivotal roles in delivering reliable electricity to the unserved and underserved areas of our State.

“Through these initiatives, we aim to bridge the gap in electricity supply and enhance the quality of life for all the residents. We understand that reliable electricity is not a luxury but a necessity.

“It is the backbone for economic growth, social development, and improved living standards. Therefore, this bill is not just about infrastructure.

“It is about empowering our people, fostering economic development, and ensuring that residents have access to the electricity they need to thrive.”he said.

The Chairman, Southwest, Chartered Institute of Power Engineering, Mr Vincent Umoh, urged the Assembly to ensure the bill mandates the state government to appoint technocrats to head the agency.

According to him ,Lagos alone needs about 1000 megawatts  to ensure stable electricity supply to residents.

He noted that the bill would resolve the challenges of electricity generation and distribution that had caused untold hardship to electricity users in the state. (NAN)