Sixty eight communities in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government on the Island of Lagos State have been connected to the national power grid.
The development brought a great relief to hundreds of thousands of residents in the areas who had been living without electricity for over five years.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode while commissioning the project, said it was part of community electrification of the ‘Light Up Lagos’ initiative noting that a high tension network covering 131.5 kilometres was rehabilitated from Ajah to Eleko junction.
Governor Ambode added that 86 transformers worth 600 million naira were distributed to the communities to aid the power distribution.
He explained that the connection of the areas to the national power grid would rejuvenate business which had been comatose.
“After a due assessment of the situation, we commenced work last year October and we promised to ensure that these 68 communities are connected to the national grid. Today, we are delighted to say that these communities have been connected to the national grid.
To make this project a reality, 33kv dedicated high-tension lines were laid from Ajah sub-station to Eleko junction and from there, spread to 68 communities. A high tension network covering 131.5 kilometers was rehabilitated and 86 transformers were installed at a total cost of N600million.
Beyond fulfilling our promise to these 68 communities, we have also demonstrated our commitment to run an all-inclusive government, which no one will be left behind. It is expected that the commissioning of this project will boost the socio-economic activities in this area after having suffered untold setback for over five years,” Governor Ambode said.
The Governor who said the project was another success story of the Light Up Lagos Project, which is built on a tripod of Community Electrification, Street Lighting and Power Advisory Committee made up of key stakeholders from the public and private sector.
“The Advisory Committee which was set up in December 2015 is being chaired by the state Deputy Governor, Dr Oluranti Adebule and its major role is to develop a roadmap to provide sustainable power supply to homes and businesses in Lagos, in the medium to long term,” he stressed.
34 communities for light-up
Governor Ambode also used the occasion to announce that 34 communities in Badagry, a border town in the state, would soon be connected to the electricity grid before September this year.
“As we do this, we shall continue with the street lightening of the Light Up Lagos Initiative. The vision is to ensure that we light up all major roads and border towns in the state,” the Governor said.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Wale Oluwo, recalled that after residents of the 67 communities complained about their plight, Governor Ambode issued a directive for investigation, and that the result revealed the Sub-station
supplying electricity to the communities was vandalized, which resulted in the power outage for about five years, until the intervention of the state government.
Oluwo said the state government was seriously committed to the sustainability of the Light Up Lagos Project and urged residents to take ownership of the electrification project which he described as a public private partnership.
The Commissioner enjoined the people to imbibe the culture of prompt payment of their electricity tariffs “because power generation,transmission and distribution are all economic activities that require the commitment of all stakeholders.”
He said the next phase of the Light Up Lagos Project is to take electricity to public institutions such as water corporations, schools, hospitals among others.
One of the community leaders- Dr Tola Kasali, said the commissioning of the project confirmed Governor Ambode’s readiness to address the plight of the people.
Also, a representative of Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOS), Mr Charles Momoh, said “the commissioning was an eloquent confirmation of walking the talk.”
Mr Momoh expressed the readiness of DISCOS to partner with the state government and make the Governor’s dream of lighting up every part of Lagos a reality.