by FRANCIS SUBERU
Lagos State government said it needs about N1.5 billion to enable it provide Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, cylinders to a million homes in the state over a period of five years; just as it said it would partner with the Federal Government in the generation of power supply.
Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Tofik Tijani, who disclosed this yesterday at the ongoing 2015 Ministerial Press Briefing, also noted that it had powered no fewer than 172 public schools and 11 primary health centres, PHCs, across the state in its Solar Power Project.
Tijani reiterated the government’s commitment to ensure residents in the state embrace safer ways of cooking through free distribution of LPG cylinders.
Explaining that paucity of fund remained the only challenge in eradicating cooking by firewood in the state, the commissioner said the government through the Eko Gas Scheme, would continue to carry out skid plant deployment, cylinder distribution and LPG reticulation of government-owned estates, if the funds were available.
He said: “Lagos solar is an energy initiative of Lagos State focused on implementing embedded solar power solutions for public facilities. This project aims at delivering 4.59mw of sustainable solar power to all rural, riverine and public boarding secondary schools (172) and 11 PHCs located within rural areas. The government has also collaborated with UK Department for International Development, DFID, to co-fund this groundbreaking project.”
Tijani added that in the last one year, the ministry also executed geological mapping project in Lagos East Senatorial District, adding that the report of the project showed that sand at Lekki, Ajah, parts of Ikorodu and Epe was 220 billion cubic metre while clay at Epe areas was estimated at 185 billion cubic metre.
On efforts to generate independent power supply in the state, the General Manager, Lagos State Electricity Board, Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi, said the state has greatly reduced crime rate and fostered a conducive environment for economic growth through constant supply of electricity.
Ogunbiyi said the state, through its five Independent Power Plants, commissioned in parts of the state, has been able to disconnect about 400 powerful generators.
Ogubiyi added that the state has the largest number of well maintained public lighting network in the entire country, saying that the state has since 2013 maintained over 316km of public lighting in 227 locations and over 400km roads and streets across the state.
She listed some of the public buildings powered by the IPPs to include Lagos House Marina, General Hospitals on Lagos Island, High courts, public lighting, street lighting, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH among others.
On why the state was yet to distribute LPG cylinders to 1 million household, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resource, Mrs Iyabo Obasa, explained that the N150 million fund provided by the state government for the free distribution of the cylinders could only provide for 20,000 homes.
To encourage LPG use in the state, Obasa said the Ministry distributed 20,000 3kg and 6kg cylinders across the 57 Local Government and Local Council Development Areas.
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