The bid to make Lagos the nation’s economic nerve centre, a truly non-stop global economy was given a big boost by the Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode who signed seven new bills into law.
They are the:
Lagos State Electric Power Reform Law, Amended Land Use Charge Law, School of Nursing Law, Cooperative College Law, 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 Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, said the laws would further take 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 the dividends of democracy.”
Giving details on the benefits of the Power Sector Reform Law, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Olawale Oluwo, said the law would allow the government to intervene in major areas of the power value chain to the overall benefit of Lagosians.
Oluwo 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.”
The commissioner further said that the law would also enable the government to collaborate with the distribution companies to collect tariff from customers efficiently in a way that the said guarantee would not crystallize, while in the area of enforcement, the law will prevent power theft.
Also speaking on the other laws, Commissioner for Information and Strategy Kehinde Bamigbetan said the signing of the laws confirmed the governor’s commitment to institutionalize and enshrine good governance.
Bangbetan said: “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 council areas 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 Language Preservation and Promotion Law 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.”