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Nigerian cooperatives urged to invest in power generation

ABUJA, January 8, 2024 – Cooperative societies in Lagos State in Nigeria have been urged to invest in the generation of power, and marketing among others after the enactment of the new electricity, local news agencies say.

Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, the State Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade and Investment, made the call days ago at a one-day symposium held at Oko-Oba, Agege in Lagos.

The symposium themed “Venturing into the Power Sector: The Electric Cooperative Model” and organised by the Lagos State Cooperative College was aimed at encouraging cooperatives in Lagos State to invest in the power sector.

“As a sub-national and cosmopolitan megacity, let me state that Lagos State has been quite proactive with the establishment of the Lagos State Electricity Board under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in anticipation and readiness for the devolution of power supply to the federating units,” Ambrose-Medebem said.

‘’I can say for a fact that the cooperatives sub-sector in the state, with over 3,000 active members and an annual financial turnover of over N70 billion, has what it takes to venture into the power sector value chain to deliver this essential public utility and improve the quality of life of its teeming members.”

She explained that in United States, United Kingdom, Europe and even some African countries, electric cooperatives have been successfully established and sustainably managed to bridge the shortfall in electricity supply through the establishment of mini-grids for power generation and distribution to rural communities and others not accommodated in the national grids.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Energy and Mineral Resources, Abiola Olowu said electric cooperatives would offer a sustainable power solution that would improve the quality of lives in the communities.”

On his part, the Provost of the College, Akorede Ojomu said the college remains committed to galvanising the cooperative movement in the state and Nigeria as a whole to invest in the power sector value chain to improve electricity access to Nigerians and also enhance the wellbeing of their members given the window of opportunities available.

“The idea of electric cooperatives, though novel in Nigeria, is not new to countries with rich cooperative practice and history where cooperatives had been in the business of providing utility services. Electric cooperatives are service-focused and dedicated to providing electricity to rural areas and their immediate communities while commercial utility companies are hesitant because they could make more profit in urban areas and businesses,” he said.

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