Striving to address the metering gap in Lagos and Nigeria, the Lagos State Government through its Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, in collaboration with the Eko Innovation Centre, has unveiled a Smart Meter Initiative, tagged, “The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020”.

This new initiative, unveiled by Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, and the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, is expected to leverage the availability of 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 last-mile electricity supply.

Governor Sanwo-Olu in his remarks said the launch “marks a significant milestone in the implementation plan of the 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.”

Sanwo-Olu added that increased electricity access is one of the priority mandates of his administration given its significance in ultimately driving economic development of the State, to enable it achieve the objective of making Lagos a 21st century economy.

He said further that the Lagos Smart Meter Initiative is an important way for the 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,” he added.

In his keynote address, the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, explained that local design and production of affordable meters would be transformational for the industry and the economy at large, and therefore urged all to support it

“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,” he added.

Similarly, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, 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 leakages. He added that the project is also expected to drive innovation and creativity while generating new interest in young people for the sector.

Odusote continued, “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 her own contribution, Advisory Board Member, Eko Innovation Centre, Doja Ekeruche, explained that a call for application had 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 would be assessed based on strict but transparent criteria to identify the most viable concepts proceeding to the next stage,” she added.