18 September 2014, Lagos – Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, has disclosed plans to establish Nuclear Power in the Lekki Free Zone as an alternative energy source to power manufacturing and other businesses in the area.
Fashola said the measure was in pursuant of the policy focused on Power, Agriculture, Transportation and Housing (PATH).
Meeting with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) at the Lekki Free Zone in Lekki, the governor underscored the importance of power supply to business sustenance in the country.
Arguing that without power, the country cannot make headway, he expressed hope that the Federal Government, saddled with the primary responsibilities of energy, would push to make constant power possible.
He added that as a sub-national government, his administration was working on the fulfillment of the commitment she made at the Ehingbeti Summit 2014 about energizing the State.
In his words: “Yesterday (Monday) we spent over two hours at the Executive Council meeting deliberating on Nuclear Energy for the State and how it could be deployed into use. That shows you how we intend to address issues of power in the State. We sat down with one of the foremost practitioners who is a Nigerian and he took us through all the protocols that is needed for establishing it,” he said.
Continuing, Fashola said: “In less than three years we can establish it, especially when we need not do distribution, but places like the Lekki Free Zone can have the Nuclear Power between 15 and 24 months. No option is off the table as we move forward in our strive to solve the power challenge for the State.”
OPS was represented by members of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA), among others.
He explained that laws are only on paper and need human beings to give life to them. Government, he said, also recognizes that there are people who want to jump queues, adding, “Globally, no society is perfect and there is always problems otherwise there will be no need for government”.
He cited the land allocation and the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy as an instance. “If we apply the issue of law and order here, what we have seen is that many people have built beyond the land that we gave them. People have extended their fence; they have added a little here and a little there, so if you give C of O to them it probably may not be reflective of the land originally given to them.
“We have just collected more than 9,700 new survey plans showing that what we gave 30 to 40 years ago has been built beyond where the land is. So what is in the C of O, or whatever have been given to the person is not reflective of the reality, and it will create even financial difficulties as we leverage on property going forward,” he said.
President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Remi Bello, commended the governor and government of Lagos State for the manner they are confronting the challenges facing the State and especially the Ebola Virus Disease noting that the ever increasing population has put enormous pressure on existing infrastructure.
President of the Dangote Group of Companies, Aliko Dangote, who was represented, said that work on the Petrochemical plant planned for the Lekki Free Zone has commenced with clearing of the site adding that the company was already moving equipment to the site.
Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Olusola Oworu, in her opening address said the meeting was to articulate the problems of the private sector with a view to offering solutions to them adding that it has been institutionalised as a means of moving the state forward in partnership with the Private sector.
Among those present at the occasion were, Special Adviser on Commerce and Industry, Seye Oladejo; Permanent Secretary Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Wale Raji; Executive Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, Tunde Fowler; Chairman Lekki Free Zone, Olusegun Jawando; Managing Director Lekki Free Zone, Ding Yonghua; Head of Chinese Chancery in Lagos, Liu Kan; Captains of Industries, Stakeholders and other Lagos State Government Officials.
– The Guardian