Lagos, Nigeria’s largest commercial and economic hub moves a step closer to improved electricity supply to millions of its residents and businesses as it signed a cooperative deal with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The agreement positions the state to effectively launch the Lagos Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) under the Power Africa-Nigeria’s Power Sector Programme initiative (PA-NPSP).
At a virtual signing of the letter of agreement between the state government and the United States’ agency on Tuesday, the governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said there was no better place to start the journey towards improving access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa than in Nigeria.
He further said that “The integrated resource plan is a priority initiative for the Lagos State government as it underpins our power reform strategy to ensure that access to reliable and affordable electricity of residents becomes a reality”.
The governor expressed gratitude to the Power Africa-Nigeria Power Sector Programme for leading the initiative and extend same to all of the domestic stakeholders for providing support by their collective resolve to ensure that the Lagos Integrated Resource Plan becomes a reality and for their unwavering commitment to making Lagos greater.
The state commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Olalere Odusote, described the signing of the letter of cooperation as a significant milestone in the implementation plan of the Lagos state government toward improving access of residents to affordable electricity.
“It is impossible to have a sustainable economic plan without an strategic energy plan.” The objective of the Lagos State government, he said, “is to deliver affordable, reliable, and sustainable electricity to Lagos residents, a key enabler for the vision of making Lagos a 21st century economy.
The Integrated Resource Plan will be a sustainable, long-term electrification plan for Lagos.”
The commissioner further stated that the integrated resource plan would be developed within the framework of PA-NPSP and would be the roadmap to guide the development and implementation of a comprehensive electrification strategy that “will be best suited to the long-term development needs of Lagos State.
The integrated resource plan, when developed, will be an effective tool for improved planning and decision making towards accelerating successful investment in the electricity sector and ultimately increasing electricity accessibility and reliability in Lagos State.
Stephen M. Haykin, USAID’s Mission director, remarked that “Power Africa recognises the importance of reliable electricity supply to Nigeria’s present and future.
He said from an energy perspective “I can’t think of no better way to accelerate access to electricity than to actively partner with the Lagos State government for the development of a robust integrated resource plan.
To this end, it is vital that we support this initiative, as it serves as a critical planning process to meet consumers’ needs for electricity services in a way that satisfies multiple objectives for resource use.”
At the signing ceremony, Tunde Gbajumo, deputy chief of party for PA-NPSP, emphasised the importance of collaborating with relevant stakeholders to develop sustainable solutions.
Gbajumo said that PA-NPSP and the Lagos State government would work closely with various stakeholders in the power sector to develop the integrated resource plan.
He further informed that a study team comprising gas suppliers, the two Lagos distribution companies, generation companies, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, the Rural Electrification Agency and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He added: “The Power Africa Nigeria Power Sector Programme is excited to be part of this landmark event for the partnership between the Lagos State government and USAID and hope that this event will serve as a further testament to the productive and sustainable growth of Nigeria’s energy sector.”
Other participants in the event included the deputy governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat; permanent secretary, Lagos State ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Ahmed Mustapha; general manager, Lagos State Electricity Board as well as key representatives from TCN, Rural Electrification Agency, Egbin Power Plc, Ikeja Electric, and Eko Electricity Distribution Company.