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Lagos State Challenges Cooperative Societies on Electric Power
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Lagos State Challenges Cooperative Societies on Electric Power

The Lagos State government has called on formidable Cooperative Societies in the State to take lead role in the provision of generation, transmission distribution and marketing of electricity to the populace giving the opportunity provided by the new electricity law.

The Honourable Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem made this called at a one-day symposium with the theme “Venturing into the Power Sector: the electric cooperative model” organized by Lagos State Cooperative College at Oko-oba, Agege in Lagos.

The Commissioner who was represented at the occasion by Mrs. Zulikha Ibrahim, the Director of Cooperative Services in the Ministry of Commerce Cooperatives Trade and Investment said that, Lagos being a sub-national cosmopolitan megacity State, was ready for the full deregulation of the power sector by the establishment of the electricity board.
She called on the State’s over 3,000 active Cooperatives Societies with an annual financial turnover in excess of N70 billion, to participate in the delivery of this essential public utility to the people and improve the quality of life of its teeming members.
She said” As a sub-national and cosmopolitan megacity, let me State that, Lagos State has always been in the forefront of the advocacy for true federalism in appreciation of the intrinsic benefits derivable therein particularly within the context of real and sustainable economic growth and development.”

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“The State has been quite proactive with the establishment of the Lagos State Electricity Board under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in anticipation and readiness for the devolution of power supply to the federating units.
‘’As the Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade and Investment in Lagos State, I can say for a fact that the cooperatives sub-sector in the State, with over 3,000 active membership and an annual financial turnover in excess of N70 billion, has what it takes to venture into the power sector value chain to deliver this essential public utility and improve the quality of life of its teeming members.
“In the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and even some African Countries, electric cooperatives have been successfully established and sustainably managed to bridge the shortfall in electricity supply particularly through the establishment of mini-grids for power generation and distribution to rural communities and enclaves not accommodated in the national grids.”

Lagos State Challenges Cooperative Societies on Electric Power
From Left: Mr. Akorede Ojomu, Provost, Lagos State Cooperative College, Dr. Usman Gur Mohammed FCA, Guest/Lead Speaker and Victor Oyegoke, Principal Consultant CoopSupport at the Symposium

Engr Olowu, The Special Adviser to the Governor on Energy and Mineral Resources, sued for the establishment of more Electric Cooperatives in the State as this would offer a sustainable power solution that would improve quality of lives in the community.
Example of this according to Engr Olowu, is the Lagos State Government initiative in conjunction with the African Development Bank and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association that pioneered the establishment of an electric cooperative to serve multiple communities in the Lekki residential area which is making tremendous impact in the community.

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Akorede Ojomu, Provost of the College in his earlier remark, said the College with the aim of providing sustainability for the survival of the cooperative business model in meeting the needs of their members and users of their services intended to use platform such as this to galvanize the cooperative movement in the State and Nigeria as a whole to make inroads investment into the power sector value chain to improve electricity access to Nigerians and also enhance the wellbeing of their members given the window of opportunities available through the instrumentality of the law.

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He pointed out that the idea of electric cooperatives, though novel in Nigeria, is not new to countries with rich cooperative practice and history where cooperatives had been in business of providing utility services.

He said electric cooperatives are service focused and dedicated to providing electricity to rural areas and their immediate communities while commercial utility companies are hesitant because they could make more profit on urban areas and businesses.

The guest lecturer, Dr. Gum Muhammed the immediate past Chief Executive of Transmission Company of Nigeria submitted that without power sector, the nation cannot move forward especially the private sector.
He stated that electricity is the brain for development in any nation, saying that we cannot grow in the private sector without electricity. That is the reason we have to fix our electricity; we have no option”

Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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