Lagos Seeks Support For Utility Infrastructures Audit In January

The Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) says it would begin auditing of underground and on-ground utility infrastructure within its geographical boundaries in January 2017.

This, it said in a statement, would enable it ascertain the quality and quantum of infrastructure and enhance proper regulation and planning, quoting Babajide Odekunle, its chief executive, who spoke at a stakeholders’ forum with telecommunication service providers and others.

He said the audit became necessary because of the urgent need to determine the actual telecommunication and water cables as well as gas and water pipelines under the ground and on the ground for effective planning especially with regards to development and redevelopment of the city.

Odekunle said the State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has already approved and necessary support for commencement of the audit, while other agencies of government which will be involved in the management of effects of the exercise have been adequately sensitized on their roles.

He said the agency was very much determined to sanitize the process of erecting infrastructure within the boundaries of the State, as such would go a long way in ensuring sanity and address issues associated with non-compliance with global best practices.

According to him, “it is about time we have a database of all utility infrastructure within the geographical boundaries of the State. LASIMRA was set up in 2004 to monitor, manage and control utility infrastructure within the geographical boundaries of Lagos in the critical sectoral areas of telecommunication, power, gas and water.

“As at today, there is no record of all these things and so we need to carry out an inventory. Some of the cables and pipelines underground are going to ten years or more. We have just been lucky so far, but the State needs to do this. If anybody should ask, how many roof towers we have in Lagos State, nobody can say; how many towers we have in the Greenfield, nobody can say; what is the distance or length of the fibres under the ground, nobody can say”, he added.

While urging the stakeholders to cooperate with government in its bid to sanitize the sector, Odekunle said in as much as government has made adequate preparation for a hitch-free exercise, members of the public should also cooperate with government in that regard.

In his technical presentation at the forum, Managing Director of Critical Infrastructure Services Limited, Mr. said telecommunication remained very strategic to the economy and national security, and as such, all stakeholders must play by the rules.

He condemned the practice whereby telecom operators construct beyond the approved kilometers for the purpose of erecting cables underground, and the laying of cables inside drainages, saying such often times, resulted in the blockage of the drainage channels which eventually leads to flooding.