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Lagos Govt. Powers New Experiential Approach to Affordable Electricity with Smart Meter Hackathon

With complaints that Nigeria's experiential marketing industry is over relying on few multinationals businesses, this partnership approach in Lagos will definitely point to a new vista that exist in SMEs, medium-sized companies and public agencies across Nigeria.

In recent times, very few events in Lagos have received more commendations from stakeholders than The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon. Most probably because it is an event that points to a new direction experiential players can understudy as we continue to seek innovative solutions to developmental challenges in our environment.

The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon event is an initiative of the Lagos State Government in collaboration with the Eko Innovation Centre to engage local technological talents to design and produce smart and affordable meters in order to bridge the metering gap in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole.

The event witnessed 274 participants in the software and hardware categories, while 65 hardware and software prototypes were submitted by applicants with 10 teams emerging as finalists.

Deputy Gov. of Lagos State, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat (3rd left); Honourable Comm, Lagos State Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources, Mr Olalere Odusote (4th left); Olonma Ibrahim and Peter Okonma of Team Power Bit Crunchers, winners in the Hardware category (From the left, in Yellow) and Oluwafemi Oreoluwa and Adenitire Ayomikun of Team Zeena Platform, winners in the Software category (From the left, in white) at the unveiling of winners of the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon at Eko innovation Center recently

The shortlisted finalists under the hardware category were Cosmo Automation, Smart Energy, Techwizard, Power Bit Crunchers and Gadozz Electricals, while the software finalists were Vectorians, Zeena Platform, Magnitronics, Chosen Soft Tech and Gideon.

The three-day event, which was held between September 16 and 18, 2020 had the 10 shortlisted finalists presenting their innovative hardware and software ideas to a panel of eight judges, one of which was Ms Chantelle Abdul, the Managing Director and CEO of MOJEC International.

At the end of the 3 days finals The following winners emerged: Team Power Bit Crunchers from the hardware category and Team Zeena Platform from the Software category. The two teams earned themselves the combined prize money of 10 million naira. The winners and runners-up will also get working space at Eko Innovation Centre, while all ten (10) finalists will get mentorship opportunities, among other consolation prizes.

Mr. Olonma Ibrahim and Peter Okonma represented the hardware team, while Oluwasemi Oreoluwa and Adenitire Ayonikun represented the Software Team at the event.

Speaking on the significant of the initiative during the announcement ceremony at the Eko Innovation Centre, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said: “Today is a true hallmark in our administrations pursuit to improve the welfare of our people. As you are aware, a key pillar of our administrations T.H.E.M.E.S agenda is to make Lagos a 21st century economy and this Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon fits perfectly as it combines innovation, creativity and local capacity to deliver solutions that will improve access to electricity in Lagos.”

Speaking further he said Smart Meter Initiative “is another demonstration of promise kept” by his administration as “it aligns with the administrations’ T.H.E.M.E.S agenda to make Lagos a 21st century economy,” and that the result of the initiative would drive local capacity that would find home grown solutions to solve our challenges, which “is a great move in transforming the electricity sector in the state.”

Also making his remarks, the Deputy Governor, Dr Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat noted that “the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon which is driving local talents to explore innovative and affordable ways to deliver smart meters for Lagos and Nigeria is a key priority for our administration and we truly appreciate the support of all the sponsors and partners of this initiative.”

The three-day final was quite revealing and exciting, and this was reiterated by the judges, participants and attendees. Speaking at the grand finale of the Hackathon on behalf of the judges, Ms Chantelle Abdul, CEO of an indigenous manufacturer of electricity meters in Nigeria, MOJEC Intentional, expressed her delight and satisfaction with the exceptionally innovative ideas and creations of the finalist teams. Ms Abdul also donated N2 million to the runner-up.

 Although Lagos state Government initially committed the sum of 7million Naira to appreciate the winners’ for their efforts before progressing to commercialization there were other private donations apart from the N2m from Ms Abdul. The Governor BabajideSanwo-Olu, Engr. Kola Balogun, Chairman, MOMAS Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited and Bunmi Akinyemiju, CEO, Venture Garden Group, all contributed N1 million each to raise the total prize money to N10 million.

Launched on July 30th, 2020 by Lagos State Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon is an initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources is aimed at providing affordable electricity meters to the populace by facilitating the design and production of meters that will accelerate efforts towards achieving improvement in energy distribution, monitoring and prevention of revenue leakage.

Over 60% of Lagosians and Nigerians are estimated to be unmetered due to unavailability and the high cost of meter acquisition. The Lagos State Government is therefore leveraging bright local talents to design and produce affordable smart electricity meters.

The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020 was convened by the Lagos State Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources; curated by Eko Innovation Centre; sponsored by Access Bank Plc, Egbin Power, Ikeja Electric Distribution Company, Mojec International, Eko Electric Distribution Company, MOMAS Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company, ElSewedy Electric, Royal Power & Energy, Venture Garden Group, InfraCredit, Axxela Limited. It was supported by many other state and private institutions.

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