Team Power Bit Crunchers from the hardware category and team Zeena Platform from the software category, have emerged as winners at the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon and have earned the combined prize money of N10 million to bring their innovative solutions to life and improve access to electricity in Lagos state.
Speaking on the high points of their respective prototype designs, Team Zeena Platform stated that their smart meter software solution could fix tariffs and usage restrictions to guide electricity consumption by users. “Administrators can control pricing, check working meters, energy consumption and perform oversight functions. Our database will run on blockchain technology and data security of users is assured.” Power Bit Crunchers, winners in the hardware category team explained that their prototype smart meter can be monitored and controlled remotely, with additional tamper proof functionalities which protects against bypass and other fraudulent activities.
Both winners and runners-up at the 3-days finals will also get working space at the Eko Innovation Centre in Ikoyi Lagos, while all 10 finalists will get mentorship opportunities, among other consolation prizes.
Although Lagos state Government initially committed the sum of 7million Naira to appreciate the winners’ for their efforts before progressing to commercialisation, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos, 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.
Chantelle Abdul, CEO MOJEC International also contributed N2 million for the runners-up.
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 significance of the initiative at the announcement ceremony at the Eko Innovation Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, on Friday, September 18th 2020, the Governor of Lagos State, 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.”
Sanwo-Olu said that the settings, the mood and the aura at the ceremony “inspires creativity and innovation, and that he saw in the participants vibrant energetic youthfulness “that inspires hope of brighter and bigger roles that technology and digitisation would play in the country.
Speaking further, the governor said the 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.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu promised that his administration would continue to support this initiative and that the outcomes of the programme has inspired his administration to do even more to drive local capacity and promote local content, while taking advantage of global opportunities to solve our unique challenges.
“The young people in Lagos and Nigeria have proven to be hardworking and brilliant and we will do all we can to support them through our various ministries, agencies, enabling policies and incentives,” he said.
Obafemi Hamzat, the deputy governor of Lagos State said that “The Lagos Smart Meter Programme is an important way for the Lagos government to demonstrate its commitment to improving access to reliable and affordable smart meters to increase the living conditions of our people.
“Therefore, Hamzat continued, “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.”
Ade Bajomo, executive director, Access Bank, representing the managing director, “the great efforts by the Lagos State Government at improving access to electricity has received a major boost by this initiative. He said Access Bank would always support creative and innovative ideas.
“ We are excited that we as Africans are striving hard to find local solutions to local problems. This is a revolution that should not be missed, and we must all come together to support and nurture.”
On the journey that climaxed in the finals, winners emerged after a competitive pitch process which saw five finalists from both hardware and software categories respectively compete for the combined prize money.
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 percent 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.
Olalere Odusote, the honourable commissioner for Energy & Mineral Resources, Lagos State and convener of the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon, said that the Hackathon received two hundred and seventy-four (274) registrations: one hundred and twenty-seven (127) of which bid in hardware category, while one hundred and forty-seven (147) competed in software group. Impressively, sixty-five (65) hardware and software prototypes were submitted by applicants.
The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020 received entries from across the country. It 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; and supported by The Lagos State Office of Innovation and Technology, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), the Nigeria Energy Support Program (NESP) implemented by the German International Development Corporation (GIZ), Oracle, IBM, General Electric, BusinessDay and Accelerate TV.