Ambode Inaugurates Committee To Boost Power Supply

ambodeLagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, on Thursday inaugurated a committee to boost household and business power supply.

He also charged them to work assiduously to create an enabling environment that will ensure 24-hour power supply to residents in the state.

The Governor, speaking at the Lagos House, Ikeja, during the inauguration, said that the issue of power challenge must be addressed, in order to achieve sustainable economic growth and development in Nigeria and Lagos State in particular.

Governor Ambode said that in view of the importance of the Lagos economy to the nation and the concerns that have been expressed particularly by the business community, his administration has considered it expedient to constitute an advisory committee on power.

He added that no state in the federation is more affected by the state of the power sector than Lagos.

A statement made available by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Habib Haruna, Governor Ambode added that Lagos State accounts for over 60 per cent of the industrial and commercial activities in Nigeria.

The governor emphasised that the energy requirement for the state is estimated at about 5,000 Mega Watts, of which only about 1000 Mega Watts is currently being supplied; hence the need to inaugurate a committee that would ensure the power need of the people is met.

He said members of the Committee consist of representatives from the State Government and industry experts from the private sector, urging them to provide a sustainable guide in the development of a road map for reliable power supply in the state, foster collaboration and develop a congress or platform for all major power stakeholders in the state and the private sector.

Members of the Committee include the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Mrs Oluranti Adebule, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Wale Oluwo, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem and the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde.

Other members of the committee include representatives of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Gaslink Nigeria Limited, Falcon Corporation Limited and Egbin Power Plc.

Governor Ambode, shortly after the inauguration tasked the committee to make electricity available to Lagos residents for both business and domestic use, just as he expressed confidence that they would not disappoint.

The Governor also hinted that in order to underscore his administration’s commitment to security of lives and property, his administration has embarked on an aggressive programme of lighting up Lagos.

He explained that major highways and streets are being connected from point to point, using Independent Power Projects (IPPs) and other means effectively.

He also encouraged individuals, private homes and corporate organizations to take up streets or roads of their choice and light them up with connections to their meters and generators, assuring that the state government will reciprocate the gesture by giving concessions to them in the payment of their annual Land Use Charges.

2013 Political Review: Nigeria Needs Spiritual Mentoring – Analyst

Political stakeholders have reiterated the need for Nigerian people and the politicians to embrace a new mind-set for the year 2014.

Channels Television weekend breakfast programme, Sunrise, played host to a former Ogun State, governorship candidate, Kafilat Ogbara and the President of the Voters Awareness Initiative, Wale Ogunade as they analysed the polity in 2013.

While agreeing that the most notable moment in the year was the decamping of PDP governors to APC, they were both of the opinion that Nigerian politics lack ideology.

Ogbara who is a member of the PDP insisted that “the problem in our politics is not really about where you belong… Whether they are crisscrossing or not, politicians are the same. What we need is a humanitarian government”

The Political Editor of Sunday Independent Newspaper, Habib Haruna, was also on the programme to bring an expected neutral view to the discussion. He was blunt in his submission that during the year 2013, he did not see the President to have shown the expected level of leadership and authority.

He however had to contend with a PDP member from Imo State, Stanley Oguike, who was also on the programme. While intermittently taking things spiritual, Oguike consistently solicited for patience and understanding for President Goodluck Jonathan, who he said is doing a good job of managing the country.

Oguike was of the opinion that President Jonathan has been unlucky to have inherited the series of problems that were not there before; especially the Boko Haram insurgency. He said that the approach he has taken is to take care of issues from the root rather than employing cosmetic approaches, but unfortunately, Nigerians are not patient as they want immediate results.

The journalist on the panel, Habib Haruna, however disagreed with Oguike, he argued that the President has not been assertive in his approach. He said that even if the President actually inherited problems he did not plan for, he is expected to be dynamic enough to change his tactics to be able to provide solution.

He stressed, “The political goodwill with which Jonathan won the presidential election has been misused. If you cannot bear the heat, leave the kitchen.”

While Oguike insisted that the President cannot be assertive in the manner Nigerians expect, because he is not a military man, Mr Ogunade, like Haruna, also towed the line of the opposite view: “To whom much is given, much is expected. Jonathan was given Presidency by Nigerians on a platter of gold and he has squandered everything.” He insisted that with such an opportunity, the President should have hired the best hands to make sure things work.

Of course, the crisis in the aviation sector was freely used to buttress points, with the alleged refusal of the Presidency to take action against the Aviation Minister cited as a proof that he is not firm. Oguike of the Imo State PDP vehemently disagreed that the President has any blame. He insisted that there are processes involved in such cases, as the Aviation Minister has not been indicted by any committee yet. He added: “One of the problems we have in this country today is the media, they are not investigative.”

In his effort to further deflate Oguike’s view point, Ogunade cited the case of former Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, who was recently declared innocent by a Nigerian court after being convicted for fraud and serving a jail term for it. He insisted that if a court in Nigeria could declare that Bode George is free, when there are cheaper thieves in the prisons, then “we (Nigeria) are in soup because that is a bad precedence.”

Ms Ogbara who said that she had worked with President Jonathan in the past and also travelled across Nigeria to campaign for him, noted that the President is “actually a good man, but I don’t know how he is now”.

She added that the controversial letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo is a proof that things are not as they should be in the country. She stressed that former president, Obasanjo is a special man God has given to Nigeria, and he has the political experience to guide the presidency, having ruled both as a military man and as a politician. She noted that his age counts as well and his counsel should be considered.

Looking into 2014, Ogunade predicted that there are serious challenges ahead. He said that the PDP members who are joining APC are not going there to just make the numbers, they are powerful politicians who would want to grab tickets and the people they are meeting on ground would want to lay claims to some of these positions, so there will be a lot of issues.

As the country steps into a new year of heavy political activities, Stanley Oguike wants the whole of Nigeria to seek total spiritual mentoring and mental reengineering, while Kafilat Ogbara asked Nigerian politicians to think about leaving a good record, and she prayed God to save the nation.

Wale Ogunade advised that Nigerians must now use their power of votes wisely. Habib Haruna wants Nigerians to continue to demand for their rights from the politicians.

Former Commissioner Insists Suntai Is Fit To Resume Office

For a 52 year old man who survived a plane crash, was hospitalized for 10 months, arrived in Nigeria following a 17 hour flight, Danbaba Suntai of Taraba state is fit to assume his duties as governor, according to the former Commissioner for Information, Emmanuel Bello.

“How fit do you want him to be? As strong as Mike Tyson? As fast as Usain Bolt? Mr Bello asked, adding that no amount of evidence will please those desperate to be in power.

He said this during an interview on Sunrise, adding that the governor had been deemed unfit to continue as the leader by certain individuals as a result of their desperation for power and not out of concern for his health.

For those comparing Suntai to late President Musa Yar’adua, Bello explains that an accident is different from a terminal sickness. “Danbaba gets stronger by the day,” he said.

The former commissioner who was sacked upon the governors arrival, after months of assuring the people of his return, said he felt vindicated by the turn out of citizens of the state, who were dancing on the streets in celebration for Suntai’s return.

He said the crowd which welcomed the governor and the people of Taraba who were out on the streets, dancing, gave him the vindication he wanted since he had been the one assuring the citizens of the governor’s return.

He denied allegations that the crowd was paid to welcome the state’s leader, adding that, you couldn’t have paid that kind of crowd to come out.

“No one stayed in their house that Sunday. Everybody was out in the sun and they were dancing on the street”. He said.

He said he felt vindicated and happy until the governor fired him alongside the entire cabinet.

Attributing the crisis in the state to a tussle for power by certain individuals, Mr Bello stated that “the inside problem is the issue of power. The fact that there are desperate people” ready to work against the evidence they are given.

However, contrary to Mr Bello’s solid stance in favour of the governor, the Deputy Editor (Politics) of Daily Independent newspaper, Mr Habib Haruna disclosed that a report by a Nigerian journalist on vacation in America stated that the governor is “not too well”.

He added that the video of Suntai addressing the state does not convince him, as well as many others, that the governor is of sound health.

Power Industry

Reacting to the brouhaha, a public affairs analyst, Dare Ogunlana said “in the last 16 years, power industry has been one of the most lucrative industries” and “people will do everything possible to protect survival”.

He stated that “politicians are serial liars” and are ready to throw “their integrity, their morality into the dustbin for the sake of survival”.