FG to build 2 power plants for Lagos 'alone'

President Goodluck Jonathan has said that the federal government will commission and dedicate two power plants to Lagos State before the end of the year.

Mr. Jonathan disclosed this Monday at the 6th Ehingbeti Summit in Lagos.

“Federal government is willing to partner state governments particularly Lagos State… This we will do by channeling power plants that are being commissioned later this year to provide more power to Lagos State,” said Mr. Jonathan, who was represented by Olusegun Aganga, the minister for Trade and Investment.

“We are working on two emergency power (plants) to be sited at Ijora and Ejigbo and power from the two plants will only be channeled and dedicated to Lagos,” he added.

The 2012 summit tagged ‘From BRICS to BRINCS: Lagos Holds the Key’ focuses on four key sectors of Power, Agriculture and agro-allied, Transportation, and Housing and Urban renewal (PATH).

“Each of these sectors serves as an enabler for all other sectors of the Nigerian economy because anything that touches on power, food security, transportation and housing definitely affects the generality of the people,” said Ben Akabueze, Commissioner for Economic Planning and chairman of the summit’s organizing committee.

More than 30 speakers drawn across the corporate and business world would take part in the three day summit.

In her keynote paper, Razia Khan of the Standard Chartered Bank, UK, noted that Lagos accounts for 26 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 40 per cent of non oil GDP.

“By 2030, we expect to see a global GDP totaling (about) US$ 300 trillion… If Nigeria sustains its growth rate, then pretty soon it will overtake South Africa as sub-Saharan Africa’s largest growing economy,” said Ms. Khan, Vice President of the bank’s Africa region.

However, the possibility of Nigeria overtaking South Africa lies in the hands of the former – according to Ms. Khan, depending on how fast or slow the country grows her economy, it could overtake South Africa by 2018 or 2038.

“When we look at the theme of the summit, ‘Lagos Holds the Key,’ we get excited by the opportunity because it is less dependent on oil economies than others,” Ms. Khan said

“The clearest thing that stands out from Lagos is how it has been less dependent on revenue from the centre,” she added.

In his opening address, Babatunde Fashola, the Lagos State governor highlighted the huge role previous summits have played in governing the state.

119 resolutions have been passed while the state government has implemented 109 since the inaugural summit in 2000, Mr. Fashola noted.

“Some have argued that our ambitions are too lofty and wondered whether Ehingbeti would be able to deliver on its lofty goals,” said Mr. Fashola.

“The first three Ehingbeti were deliberately diagnostic,” he said. “By the fourth summit in 2008, there was a blueprint but we needed to hear from people who have faced similar challenges and those who shared their experiences; and so there was no need to reinvent the wheel.

Lagos boasts about 2,000 industrial complexes, 10,000 commercial ventures, and accounts for over 60 percent of Nigeria’s industrial and commercial activities.

Mr. Fashola said that the state is responsible for the over 18 million people who oil the economy and “we take that responsibility very serious.”

“We are conscious that the best way to stimulate an economy is to create an enabling environment for business to thrive,” said Mr. Fashola.

The summit continues on Tuesday with discussions on power sufficiency and path to food security for Lagos among other topics.

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