By Adedapo Adesanya\u00a0 The Lagos State government has taken a huge step to reduce the electricity metering deficit in the metropolis by unveiling initiative tagged The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020. The scheme, which is aimed at improving access to electricity in the state, will offer N7 million cash prize to any local talent who can develop an affordable meter. The state government wants to make use of Nigerians to develop and produce affordable smart meters for consumers, thereby addressing the metering gap in Lagos and Nigeria through the Smart Meter Hackathon initiative. It was gathered that the Eko Innovation Centre, in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, will facilitate the meter design hackathon to improve energy distribution, monitoring and preventing revenue leakage by calling for affordable smart meter designs. This scheme was unveiled by the Governor of Lagos, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Minister of State of Power, Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba through a virtual press conference. Speaking at the event, Mr Sanwo-Olu noted that the project marked a significant milestone in the implementation of the state government\u2019s plan. \u201cThis Lagos Smart Meter Initiative is an important way for the Lagos Government to demonstrate its commitment to improving electricity access and reliability for Lagosians. \u201cWe 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,\u201d he said. He also added that the initiative was 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. The governor further said the success of such an initiative will significantly reduce the revenue leakages in the sector and ultimately improve last-mile electricity supply for consumers. Mr Sanwo-Olu said that increased electricity access is one of the priority mandates of his administration. He added that it was a key factor in ultimately driving the economic development of the State and achieve the objective of making Lagos a 21st-century economy. He called on all relevant stakeholders \u2013 electricity sector players, technology experts, investors, regulators to support the initiative. Speaking on the prize, Mrs Doja Ekeruche, Advisory Board Member, Eko Innovation Centre explained that all concepts submitted will be assessed based on strict but transparent criteria to identify the most viable concepts proceeding to the next stage. She added that the judges will be professionals within the power and tech ecosystem, saying \u201cJudges with knowledge and expertise within the power and tech ecosystem will review the entries and shortlist teams to proceed to the hackathon event.\u201d Mrs Ekeruche further clarified that \u201cthe final winners of the hackathon, in both the hardware and software categories, will win N7 million. They will also be a part of the co-creation phase with other experts, and then proceed to the production and testing stage before the full commercialization of the smart meter.\u201d The hackathon is open to entrepreneurs, software enthusiasts, hackers and developers. According to the organisers, submissions are welcome from those who want to make a change and contribute to making electricity supply better in Lagos. It was also added that teams developing from scratch or continuing a previously started project can also participate. Registration is free and prototype designs can either be submitted as either hardware or software. The registration can be done via https:\/\/lagossmartmeter.com\/hardware-submission\/ or https:\/\/lagossmartmeter.com\/software-submission\/ The deadline for the application submission is August 28, 2020.