The Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa on Thursday revealed that the proposed amendments to the state electric power sector reform was to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks such that the Board will rely on Ministry of Energy.
Represented by Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni he made this revelation during a Public Hearing for “A Bill for a law to amend the Lagos State Electric Power Sector Reform Law, 2018”, at Lateef Jakande Auditorium, Alausa Ikeja.
According to him, there was need to address the challenges of electricity, saying “Almost all the industries at Oba Akran have all gone due to high cost of production.
“It is to make the law more elegant and more potent. It is to free the energy from bureaucratic bottlenecks so that the Board does not rely on ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources so that it can move with high speed”
He lamented that had the attempt by the former Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to produce 500 mega watts in 2001 for the state came to pass, it would have attained sufficiency in energy production.
In his overview of the Bill, the Chairman House Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Hon. Folajimi Mohammed said “Section 3 (2) is to be deleted and a new subsection (2) to replace it.”
According to him, the new subsection shall read, “The Agencies and Boards under the Ministry are independent of the Ministry and they shall include, but not limited to the (a) IBILE Oil and Gas Corporation and (b) Lagos State Electricity Board.”
Mohammed explained further section 23(1) & (2) of the Principal Law is deleted and a new section 23 is replaced to read, “For the purpose of the Embedded Power Scheme and Ministry, Department or Agency of the State may provide indemnities to the Embedded Power Provider and Feedstock Merchant subject to the approval of the House.”
In his submission, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Mr. Bade Adebowale cautioned that the amendments to sections 2, 3 and 4 which was to take away the supervisory roles of the ministry should be looked into.
Adebowale also said that section 17 sought “to arrogate too much powers to the Electricity Board. Also section 23 (1) and (3) seeks to take away the power of ministry of Finance.
He suggested that in section 27 (5) which gave power of the rate to Fund Management Company subject to the approval of the House should be left with the Governor, adding that the House should concentrate on oversight function.
Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Mrs Funmilayo Balogun said section 23 sought to take away the power of ministry of Finance as regard indemnities and give it to the MDAs.