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Ogun State House of Assembly has canvassed for the removal of electricity generation and distribution from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list with a view to ensure the establishment of energy system by state government to cater for the need of the people especially in rural areas and other places not covered by the national grid.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, made the submission in his remarks at the stakeholders’ forum on “H.B 21/OG/2020- A bill for a law to make provision for the establishment of the Ogun State Safety Commission and others matters connected therewith and H.B 51/OG/2020- A Bill for a Law to establish the Ogun State Energy Board to coordinate programmes and initiatives to improve energy generation supply and Drive Socio-economic Development in the State and for connected matters”, held at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
According to the Speaker, there was a need for the domestication of electricity-related issues to cater for the population and geographical peculiarity of the society towards ensuring seamless distribution of power supply to the people by licence interested investors, especially state- owned, who would in turn participate and engage in off-national grid electricity generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to nooks and crannies.
Commenting on the State Energy Board Bill, the Speaker who allayed the fear of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) in the proposed State Board Bill, stated that when passed and assented to by the Governor, would complement the role of the company, with a charge to them to provide prepaid meters to existing subscribers towards checkmating excessive service charges.
Declaring the public hearing on the two bills open, the Speaker remarked “let me state here, that as part of efforts of the present administration in the State to chart a new course to ensure the safety of lives and property of its people in the State, as well as provide sustainable energy for industrial growth. The essential ingredient to make government policies stand the test of time, is legal instrument (Law), hence, the importance of legislative backup cannot be over looked.
“Let me assure all stakeholders present here that these Bills, seeking to make provision for the establishment of the Ogun State Safety Commission as well as Establish the Ogun State Energy Board in the State will be given accelerated passage to improve the security architecture of the State as well as provide the needed energy required for industrial growth in the State. The bills are aimed at providing enabling environment, for improvement of the socio-economic activities in our dear State.”
Assuring that the bills would be passed before the end of the year, Oluomo said the forum being one of the core mandates of the Assembly was organised to ensure due legislative process before the passage of the bills to further ensure that the State meet up with current realities of safety security and energy challenges.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Committee on Works and Infrastructure, Abayomi Fasuwa, stressed the importance of safety and energy supply to human and socio-economic activities, submitting that the State Government remained proactive in its resolve towards ensuring the safety of lives and properties as well as ensure efficient and uninterrupted electricity generation, distribution and supply with a view to promoting economic growth of the State.
Stakeholders including the Special Adviser to the Governor on Energy, Engr. Laolu Adubifa, State Regional Head, IBEDC, Engr. Ademola Adewunmi, State Deputy Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Ayoade Sorunke, representatives of the State Ministries of Environment, Physical Planning and Urban Development, State Environmental Protection Agency amongst others lauded the Assembly for being responsive and responsible to the yearnings of the people, saying that the legislations would help coordinate all issues relating to establishment of Independent Power Plant for the State and uniform safety measures for compliance by all industries.