Lagos plans advance tech for smart city project
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, professionals and experts in the technology sector have stressed the importance of technology in the drive towards the smart city project of the state.
Specifically, Governor Sanwo-Olu expressed his administration’s commitment to greatly invest in technology, which according to him, is critical to the development of the state and nation in general.
The governor stated this at the 2021 Stakeholders’ Conference of Lagos State Infrastructure, Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA), with the theme: ‘Lagos State Metro and Smart City Initiative: The Future of Technological Infrastructure.”
He urged key stakeholders and the private sector to collaborate as partners with the state government to create a Lagos that works for all.
The governor said his government is committed to providing ease of doing business for investors to make life better for citizens as well as adequate security of life and property in the state.
Sanwo-Olu stated that the state would emulate Singapore and other countries that use modern technology for massive infrastructure development, while also collaborating with the private sector.
“If Lagos is to sustain its Centre of Excellence status in the country, vital infrastructural development is critical to achieving human capital development. The economic impact that infrastructure improvement has on nation-building cannot be over-emphasised.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu during the conference also confirmed the acting General Manager of LASIMRA, Mrs. Abisoye Coker-Odusote, as substantive General Manager of the agency.
On her part, Coker-Odusote stated that with the emergence of modern technology, many countries are leveraging the ‘Internet of Things’ to revolutionise several facets of their economies through the attraction of talent, foreign investments, with an attendant positive effect on the environment, people, governance as well as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.
“In line with Mr. Governor’s T.H.E.M.E.S. Policy Agenda, repositioning Lagos State as a smart city is an integral aspect of this administration; with a well-designed roadmap, the administration has been working hard to improve the efficiency of services and eliminate redundancies in major sectors to promote an enabling environment for business, as well as residents.”
Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hakeem Fahm, stated that Governor Sanwo-Olu’s plan to fully transform the state into a smart city and make Lagos’ economy 21st century compliant is fully on course.
Fahm added that the ongoing laying of 3,000 km fiber metro network cables and broadband infrastructure across the state is part of the comprehensive smart city programme of the government aimed at driving Lagos into a 24-hour economy.
He said the broadband infrastructure rollout enables rapidity in commercial activities and provides instant access to healthcare, government services, and social connectivity, noting that fiber optics would help the government also to improve security through inter-connected technological tools.
“In my view the theme of the event is very relevant and of national significance. No one can ignore the vital role of technology in improving our infrastructural facilities and enhancing economic growth and development. The theme, among others, seeks a projection into the future of giant technological strides, which the Lagos State Government has been making over the years.”
He buttressed that rapid technological developments have often lowered the traditionally high barriers to entry for infrastructure services that had previously been regarded as monopolistic.
Fahm noted that as new technologies become cheaper or more efficient, opportunistic disruptors increasingly stake a claim for market share in many sub-sectors by offering attractive alternatives to existing products and services.
“This creates new risks for incumbent investors and raises hard questions about asset valuations and long-term contracting structures.
“Please permit me to emphasize that the Lagos Smart City Initiative concept was premised on using modern technology to revolutionize the entire economy. This, to a greater extent, will bring Lagos at par with many other countries presently enjoying profound global interests and investments, being countries that are substantially investing in digital artefacts to achieve a correspondent value in their natural and human endowments.
“The THEMES agenda, being the template on which this administration is currently running, has education and technology as one of the pillars. Although technology is aligned with education to form the third pillar that anchors education and technology, technology is the bedrock of all other pillars.
“For instance, the first pillar, managing traffic and providing effective transportation, now relies on technology. The use of cowry cards is now gaining popularity among the populace. Another example is the Health and Environment pillar, and it would be difficult to operate in this pillar without technology, which cuts across all the other pillars.”