In furtherance of ongoing efforts to address the metering gap in Lagos and Nigeria, the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources, in collaboration with Eko Innovation Centre, has unveiled a Smart Meter Initiative tagged “The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020”
This new initiative was unveiled by the Governor of Lagos, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, and the Honourable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba; along with other government officials at a virtual press conference held on Thursday, July 30th, 2020.
Through the initiative, which is widely applauded as a game-changer, the Lagos State Government will leverage the availability of bright local talents in Nigeria to develop and produce affordable smart electricity meters for consumers. The initiative is expected to significantly reduce the revenue leakages in the sector and ultimately improve the last-mile electricity supply.
Governor Sanwo-Olu in his remarks stated that the launch marks a significant milestone in the implementation plan of the State Government towards improving access to electricity in the state and it is also in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the UN which aspires to drive universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.
He added that increased electricity access is one of the priority mandates of his administration given its significance in ultimately driving the economic development of the State to enable it to achieve the objective of making Lagos a 21st-century economy.
“This Lagos Smart Meter Initiative is an important way for the Lagos Government to demonstrate its commitment to improving electricity access and reliability for Lagosians. We believe that adequate metering of Lagosians and in turn Nigerians would increase willingness to pay for electricity, improve productivity, and more importantly, continue to improve the living conditions of our people”.
“Now, as we launch the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020, we call on all relevant stakeholders – electricity sector players, technology experts, investors, regulators – to support this worthy cause as we strive to ensure sustainable electricity for all in Lagos,” he disclosed.
In his keynote address, Jedy-Agba explained that local design and production of affordable meters will be transformational for the industry and the economy at large and therefore urged all to support it.
“Lagos is an important state in Nigeria in terms of size, economy, and resources. With a population of over 20million and the 5th highest GDP in Africa, Lagos is by far the biggest economy in Nigeria. Therefore, getting access to electricity right in Lagos is critical for access to electricity in the entire country.
“Electricity is an essential service, and we need to ensure that the benefits of smart meters flow to everyone. I call on all relevant stakeholders in the sector to support this innovative and impactful initiative– industry regulators, electricity sector players, technology experts, and fund providers.”
Similarly, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Olalere Odusote said the initiative is expected to provide access to affordable smart meters for Lagosians to improve electricity supply, monitoring, and trust between electricity providers and end-users while preventing revenue leakage. It is also expected to drive innovation and creativity while generating new interest in young people for the sector.
“Over the years, despite significant investments and resolutions around power generation and distribution, there remains a huge metering gap of over 60% of electricity consumers in Lagos and Nigeria. This metering gap is what we are seeking to bridge through the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon”.
“In line with the objectives of the Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (BOS) Administration to make Lagos a 21st-century economy, we have identified the need to intervene and support the facilitation of effective metering across the state, to ensure the provision of reliable electricity for Lagosians and Nigerians in the long-term,” he stated.
Doja Ekeruche, Advisory Board Member, Eko Innovation Centre explained that a call for application has been sent out to local talents in the tech community to submit their proposed hardware and software solutions using the guidelines stipulated on the Lagos Smart Meter website. All concepts will be assessed based on strict but transparent criteria to identify the most viable concepts proceeding to the next stage.
Furthermore, she highlighted that “Judges with knowledge and expertise within power and tech ecosystem will review the entries and shortlist teams to proceed to the hackathon event. Final Winners of the Hackathon, in both the hardware and software categories, will win N7million. They will also be a part of the co-creation phase with other experts, and then proceed to the production and testing stage before the full commercialization of the smart meter”
Other participants at the event included the Deputy Governor of Lagos State – Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Olatunbosun Alake, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Innovation and Technology; other Commissioners, Special Advisers and Heads of Parastatals from the Governor Sanwo-Olu administration; key representatives from the Energy and Technology Industry, journalists and other stakeholders.