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Ambode signs seven bills into law


Akinwunmi Ambode


Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi
Ambode , on Thursday signed seven
bills into law , among which is the law
to guarantee 24 - hour power supply in
line with the vision to attain a 24 - hour
economy and make Lagos globally
competitive.
A press release signed by Chief Press
Secretary , Habib Aruna , states that the
new Laws are : the Lagos State Electric
Power Reform Law , Amended Land
Use Charge Law, School of Nursing
Law, and Cooperative College Law.
Others are the Cancer Research
Institute Law , Amended Customary
Court Law and the Yoruba Language
Preservation and Promotion Law
Speaking on the import of the new
laws, the State ’ s Attorney General and
Commissioner for Justice , Mr. Adeniji
Kazeem said the development was a
great day for the state as it signposted
the commencement of the journey to
further advance the dividends of
democracy to the people.
He said : “ This is a great day; the
governor has just signed these bills
into law and this shows that the House
of Assembly is working in tandem with
the Executive .
“ It also shows that Lagos is working.
These laws are going to benefit the
people of Lagos State and this is what
the people are looking for in terms of
dividends of democracy .”
Giving details on the benefits of the
Power Sector Reform Law , the State ’s
Commissioner for Energy and Mineral
Resources, Mr. Olawale Oluwo , said the
law would allow the state government
to intervene in major areas of the
power value chain to the overall
benefit of the people.
He said : “ One , the law puts the
government in a position to be able to
extend our guarantee to private sector
participants who will come and
generate power for us and by this
guarantee, we are putting the balance
sheet of our State on the table and
assuring investors that as they
generate power , they will get paid .
“ Second , it is to help the distribution
companies to upgrade their
infrastructure because if they generate
the power and their infrastructure is
still where it is today , clearly they will
not have the capacity to carry the
incremental power .
“ The third area of intervention is that
it empowers us to be able to open up
the gas market in Lagos, so that we can
have gas on a consistent basis and that
is how we can attain the 24 - hour
power supply. ”
Speaking further , Oluwo said the law
would also enable the state
government to collaborate with the
distribution companies to collect tariff
from customers efficiently in a way
that the said guarantee would not
crystallise, while in the area of
enforcement, the law will prevent
power theft .
According to him ,” What has happened
today is that the first power theft law
in Nigeria has been signed today by
Governor Ambode and this is the first
time any government in Nigeria will
institutionalise the power theft law .
“ It criminalises power infraction .
What we have seen before is that
people tamper with and bypass
electricity meters and at the end of the
day, they are arrested and nothing
happens.
“ But the new law provides for jail
terms as well as fines and all sorts of
forbearance such that if you tamper
with electrical installations , if you
import fake electrical materials into
this state, you are liable to be
prosecuted ,” Oluwo explained .
Speaking on the other laws , the State ’s
Commissioner for Information and
Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan,
said the signing of the laws aptly
confirmed the commitment of
Governor Ambode to institutionalise
and enshrine good governance .
“ Among the bills is the Amended
Customary Law , which is very
important because, for a long time , the
Customary Court system in the Local
Government has been shut down
because of the bill ; and with this
revision , the Customary Court in Local
Government will spring back to life
and that means that many of the
activities in the Local Government
which require arbitration and dispute
resolution which had been in
abeyance so far will now come back in
full stream .
“ Another one is the Yoruba Promotion
bill and for the first time, it will
become normal for you to be admitted
into any of our tertiary institutions
with a credit in Yoruba language and
Yoruba will now become a major
requirement for you to engage in
normal business communication in
Lagos State .
“ This is a clear and conscious
commitment to the position which
Lagos State prides Yoruba language as
the cultural vehicle for us to be able to
articulate our position and it also
shows that Lagos has furthered
recognised the importance of language
as a vehicle for development ,”
Bamigbetan said .

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