…As LASG flags off Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe Expressway reconstruction project Sunday***
Ikeja Electric Plc (IE) on Friday commenced the distribution of prepaid meters to 106, 000 customers under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) approved by the Federal Government.
Mrs Folake Soetan, Acting Chief Executive Officer of IE, made this known at the flagging off of the programme in Ikeja.
Soetan said that the programme was part of the Federal Government’s effort to further bridge the country’s metering gap, and also cushion the effect of the Service Reflective Tariff on electricity consumers in Nigeria.
She said: “In line with this programme, IE is committed to driving the rollout through a series of one-day metering initiative across different locations in its network.
“These metering initiative is designed to ensure a seamless metering process that allows customers to register and be metered on the same day after following due process.
“Ikeja Electric is rolling out over 106,000 prepaid meters to customers across its six Business Units – Ikeja, Abule-Egba, Akowonjo, Oshodi, Ikorodu and Shomolu.”
Soetan said that this was for the first phase of the programme, which would run till the end of 2020.
According to her, beneficiaries of this programme, which will cut across all locations in IE network, will not be required to pay upfront for the installation of meters.
Soetan said rather, the modalities of cost recovery for the meters would be clearly defined and communicated to the beneficiaries.
“The primary objective of the NMMP is to increase the metering rate in the country and close the gap of unmetered customers.
“It is also expected that it will assist in reducing collection losses, while at the same time, increasing financial flows to achieve 100 per cent market remittance obligation of the DisCos.
“Part of the objectives also include: the elimination of arbitrary estimated billing, improving network monitoring capability and provision of data for market administration and investment decision-making,” she said.
Soetan said apart from its job creation potential in the meter value chain, the programme would increase local meter manufacturing, assembly and deployment capacity, all in support of Nigeria’s economic recovery plan.
She reiterated DisCos’ commitment to bridging the metering gap by metering all its customers to ensure an efficiently managed electricity supply industry that meets the yearnings of Nigerians.
In the meantime, the Lagos State Government on Friday announced plans to flag-off the reconstruction and upgrade of the Eti-Osa-Lekki- Epe Expressway in the state on Sunday..
This is contained in a statement by Mr Adeshina Odunuga, spokesman of the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure.
He quoted the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, as announcing the plan.
Adeyoye, while inspecting the road, is quoted as saying that the state would embark on the project in spite of economic challenges, dwindling revenue and recent havoc on assets and infrastructure of the state during the EndSARS protests.
“Against all odds, the economic recession, dwindling financial resources occasioned by the COVID 19 pandemic and the most recent unwarranted violence unleashed on the State Government Infrastructure notwithstanding, Mr Governor remains focused toward promoting economic prosperity through the provision of sustainable road infrastructure throughout the state,” she said.
Adeyoye said Gov. Sanwo-Olu will on Sunday flag-off the project.
According to her, reconstruction works will begin on the first phase of 18.75km stretch, spanning Eleko Junction to Epe ‘T’ Junction.
“Aside from the fact that the Lekki-Epe Expressway project when completed will eliminate the perennial traffic gridlocks, it would ultimately improve socio-economic activities in and around Lekki environs and reduce drastically the travel time of commuters,” she said.
Adeyoye listed other benefits of the project and the positive impact it would have on Lagos residents, businesses and commuters.
She said the Eti-Osa/Lekki/Epe Expressway was constructed over 40 years ago, from Victoria Island to Epe T-junction, adopting a rural road cross-section without drain, except for few chutes which absorb surface runoff on the sides of the road.
“Over time, the road has deteriorated and it currently hurts movement of goods and passengers in an efficient manner, thus necessitating the initial palliative intervention of this administration in November 2019.
” The palliative in its limited scope is now to give way to the more sustainable reconstruction works.
“The reconstruction works will entail an upgrade in both capacity and pavement structure, with an increase from a 2 to a 3 lane dual carriageway with a dedicated truck lane and reinforced concrete rigid pavement.
“Rigid pavement was recommended to accommodate the envisaged axle loadings expected to ply the route, given the rapid industrialisation in that area.
“The project is programmed to be executed in two phases so as to manage the huge financial outlay required in the face of the present economic situation’” she said.
While giving a brief of the project, the special adviser said Phase I spans Eleko Junction – Epe T-Junction and is 18.75KM while Phase II spans Abraham Adesanya Roundabout – Eleko Junction and is 26.7KM.
“A tried and tested contractor Messrs. Craneburg Construction Company Limited with proven capacity and track record on similar projects – in personnel, equipment and co-ordination of construction activities — has been selected to execute this contract with a view to accelerate the project delivery.
“Upon completion, the road is expected to complement the newly constructed / ongoing Epe network of roads and ease transportation of goods and services through Epe to other neighbouring states,” she said.