Lagos Unveils 10-Year Smart City Plan

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By Ahmed Rahma

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, outlined the key infrastructural deliverables being undertaken by his administration for the achievement of the Smart City agenda.

The Governor shared his vision for the state at the 8th Lagos Economic Summit, known as Ehingbeti and themed Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next Decade.  The event was facilitated by the organised private sector in support of the state government.

In his address, Mr Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the race to digitise every community in Lagos has begun with the ongoing laying of 6,000-kilometre fibre optic infrastructure across the city, stressing that the Smart City plan would fully materialise by 2030 when the entire landscape of Lagos would have been covered by a network of several thousands of kilometres of fibre optic carrying broadband internet into all homes, offices and schools.

According to him, the move is to leverage technology to revolutionise business culture in Lagos by energising Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that form the backbone of the State economy.

He said, “I invite every well-meaning Nigerian to join me to look ahead at the next decade, and the possibilities that lie ahead for Lagos.

“What will Lagos State look like by 2030? There will be a city-wide network of colour-coded Metro Lines, the first two of which – Red and Blue lines – will move over 34.5 million people monthly, cutting travel time by over 250 per cent.

“In 2030, Lagos will proudly stand beside every other megacity in the world, in terms of its capacity to transport its people efficiently and responsively.”

Speaking further, he noted that “Water transportation infrastructure being put in place will make waterway transport systems a central element of life in the metropolis.

“The Fourth Mainland Bridge will come to define the cityscape of the 2020s in the same way the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge defined it a decade earlier.

“By 2030, Lagos will be a Smart City, fully covered by a network of several thousands of kilometres of fibre optic infrastructure that will carry broadband internet into homes, offices and schools.”

Additionally, Mr Sanwo-Olu said, “The Smart City that is unfolding will also be home to a network of intelligent cameras that will support not only security and policing across the State, but also traffic management and data collection for urban planning.

“By 2030, Lagos will be home to one of the largest Rice Mills in the world, after we deliver our 32 metric tons per hour rice factory in Imota, which will produce 2.8 million bags of 50kg bags of rice per annum.”

The Governor said the implementation of the plan would not only create millions of direct jobs for skilled youths, but it would also empower women, who own substantial MSMEs in Lagos, adding that plans were underway in the state to reverse the tide of billions lost nationally to medical tourism.

He disclosed that Lagos was pushing ahead with a move to develop a Medical Park in Ikoyi in partnership with the private sector, which is expected to offer world-class medical and diagnostic services stating that his administration’s development blueprint, known as Project THEMES, was designed to build on the achievements of previous administrations and lay foundations for future growth.

Mr Sanwo-Olu, having reviewed the progress recorded within the past decade, said there was so much to be celebrated in the State, but added that so much was needed to be done in expanding the frontiers of growth in Lagos.

The Ehingbeti summit, which is largely virtual, has some sessions to be held physically at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island. It is co-chaired by the chairman of Citi Bank, Mr Yemi Cardoso.

It is an initiative introduced in 2000 as a biennial event aimed at creating a credible forum to discuss and formulate policies for accelerating infrastructural development and stimulating economic growth for Lagos.

The event was virtually attended by President Muhammadu Buhari; the newly appointed Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; President of Africa Development Bank, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina; and founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, among others.

The WTO Director-General made a case for the creation of massive industrial hubs to harness the potential of the youth and women in artificial intelligence and the digital economy.

She commended the Lagos Government’s action to build digital infrastructure around the city, noting that the fibre optic programme makes the state a new manufacturing hub of digital products that will shape the global economy in the next decade.

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