Lagos grid market has only grown to about 2% – Commissioner for Energy
The Lagos state Commissioner for Energy, Mr Olalere Odusote, has said that the state’s grid market has only grown by about 1% or 2%.
He disclosed this on Thursday, December 8, while justifying the need for the state to enact a state law to regulate the electricity market.
According to him, most private individuals and businesses in Lagos make use of diesel-powered generators rather than electricity from the national grid. He said:
- “Nothing has changed in the national grid sector nine years after. However, Lagos State, within a spate of nine years, had grown from having about 8,000 megawatts of installed diesel capacity to about 23,000 megawatts. The diesel market has grown by about 300%, but the grid market has not grown at all or just about 1 or 2%.”
Lagos energy use: Mr Odusote added that when the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) were established nine years ago, they sold between about 800 to 900 megawatts (MW) and have only improved to 1,000 MW as of today.
- The commissioner said that a lot of the energy utilized in Lagos comes from diesel generators and that because of the city’s high population, the emission from that energy source had become unsustainable.
- The state law is in the works: According to the commissioner, the Lagos state government has drafted the Lagos Electricity sector policy, to provide universal access to electricity for all residents of the state.
Lagos electricity policy: He also pointed to the fact that the draft of the Lagos electricity sector policy has been completed and was before the state’s House of Assembly for consideration.
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If this bill is implemented, the electricity regulatory powers of Lagos state will be vested in the state government and not in the Federal Government through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
While addressing the legal implication of the drafted law, Mr Odusote said:
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- “The Nigerian constitution domiciles the responsibility of regulation and distribution of electricity with the state government, but when the law was passed in 2002, many states were not ready for the responsibility.
- “Many housing estates in the state run on diesel generators because they are unable to benefit from the grid, yet they cannot share the excess capacity they currently have because the Federal Government does not permit it.
- “Lagos is now ready, willing, and in the process of passing the law. It means we will be able to locally determine our faith when it comes to electricity,” he said.
For the record: Mr Odusote said the Lagos Regulatory Agency will work with the residents and the state government to determine the need for the electricity market and make laws that will enable investors to invest in identified gaps.