The Lagos State Government has announced the frontrunners that will participate in the final hackathon design event. The governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu will announce the overall winner at the event slated for 16th to 18th September 2020.
Five finalists each emerged from the hardware and software categories. They will compete at the Grand Finale holding at the Eko Innovative Centre, Victoria Island, and Lagos. Two eventual winners will share the prize money of seven million naira.
Finalists were shortlisted after a transparent, rigorous and competitive process. The Hackathon received 274 entries. 127 of them in the hardware category while 147 competed in the software category. However, only 65 hardware and software prototypes were submitted by applicants.
The shortlisted five finalists from hardware category are Cosmo Automation, Smart Energy, Techwizard, Power Bit Cruchers and Gadozz Electricals. The five software finalists are Vectorians, Zeena Platform, Magnitronics, Chosen Soft Tech and Gideon.
This Initiative of the Ministry of Energy and 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.
Suffice to state it that 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.
Speaking on the Hackathon judging process, Mrs Doja Ekeruche, Advisory Board Member, Eko Innovation Centre, curators of the Hackathon, noted that 19 judges with expertise in the power and tech ecosystem participated in the shortlisting process that produced the finalists.
“We asked companies in the Energy and Tech ecosystem to nominate representatives to serve on the selection panel, tasked with shortlisting the top five finalists from both hardware and software tracks to proceed to the final hackathon events,” she explained.
She added: “At the end of the shortlisting phase, a session was held with the judges to discuss the reviewing process, and an analytics team ranked the submissions by all judges to arrive at the top finalists.”
During the launch of the programme on July 30, the Lagos State Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu noted that the Smart Meter Hackathon Initiative marked a significant milestone in the implementation of the State Government’s plan towards improving access to electricity.
This is because it aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the United Nations targeted at achieving universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.
At the virtual launch, while stating his resolved to achieve SDG in Lagos, he added that the initiative “fits well within the six pillars of the development agenda of his administration (T.H.E.M.E.S), which includes driving technology-driven innovations to transform Lagos into a 21st century digital economy and Smart City.
“This Lagos Smart Meter Program is an important way for the Lagos 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.”Babajide Sanwo-Olu
And, at the same ceremony held, the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba stated in his keynote address that the local design and production of affordable meters would help transform the power sector and the economy at large.
He urged all stakeholders to support the initiative, stressing that getting access to electricity right in Lagos “is critical for access to electricity in the entire country, considering the state’s population and economic landscape.”
The convener of the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon, the Honourable Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Lagos State, Mr. Olalere Odusote, added that the initiative was 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 leakage, as programme.
“The initiative is expected to drive innovation and creativity while generating new interest in young people for the sector. Over the years, despite significant investments and resolutions along the electricity value chain, there remains a huge metering gap of over 60% of electricity consumers in Lagos and Nigeria,” Mr Odusote said.
“This metering gap is what we are seeking to bridge through the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon. In line with the objectives of the Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (BOS) Administration to make Lagos a 21st-century economy, we have identified the need to intervene and support the facilitation of effective metering across the state, to ensure the provision of reliable electricity for Lagosians and Nigerians in the long-term,” he concluded.
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