Agreement will attract $10 billion into Lagos economy
The Lagos State Government and the City of Dubai Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which would, among others, lead to the deployment of 13,000 and unified communication systems.
The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem and the Chief Executive of Smart City Dubai LLC, Mr. Jabber Bin Hafez, signed the agreement at the Emirates Towers, Dubai yesterday.
The signing of the MoU, which would attract as much as $10 billion to the Lagos economy, was witnessed by the state Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and Deputy Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mr. Ahmad Bin Byat.
A document obtained from the state government, the Lagos SmartCity Project “is an initiative of the Ambode administration aimed at providing state-of-the art information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure to deliver social amenities: security, communication and collaboration.”
The document said the MoU was designed “to deploy 13,000 surveillance cameras across as well as provide a metro network to connect schools, hospitals, courts, police stations and other government facilities across the state.”
The document added that the MoU was sealed “to develop unified communication systems for first emergency responders; provide 4g lte technology, a standard wireless communication high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals as well as deploy broad fibres across the state.”
But a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde after the MoU was ratified yesterday said the SmartCity project “is a growing concept that draws from the success of Dubai’s innovative knowledge-based industry clusters to empower business growth for companies and knowledge workers all over the world.”
The statement, which dwelt on Ambode’s address after the MoU became effective, said the project was expected “to bring multi-billion dollars investments to the State, create thousands of jobs and transform the Ibeju-Lekki axis in particular and the entire Lagos State in general.”
The governor explained the rationale behind the signing of the MoU, noting that it was a deliberate attempt by his administration to establish a strong convergence between technology, economic development and governance
According to him, the MoU is between the state government and Dubai Holdings, LLC, owners of Smart City (Dubai) to develop a sustainable, smart, globally connected knowledge-based communities that drive knowledge economy
Ambode said the collaboration “is part of the larger vision to make Lagos safer, cleaner and more prosperous. A Smart-City Lagos will be the pride of all Lagosians just as we have Smart City Dubai, Smart-City Malta and Smart-City Kochi (India).
“We are encouraged by the fact that we do not, as a government, need to develop at a slow pace, but take full advantage of the digital age and fast track development of Lagos to a real megalopolis that we can all be proud of.
“The future is ours to take. It also marks first SmartCity in Africa when completed. Apart from creating jobs for the people, the project would also become the world’s first carbon neutral city. Lagos will become an important centre for innovation in smart technologies, wellness and destination for green tourism.”
But at a private meeting with the governor in September 2015, the company’s Head of Delegation, Prof. Pat Utomi provided the succinct profile of Smart City Dubai, which he said, was reputable globally for transforming a desert village to the world’s business hub in one generation.
He said SmartCity would significantly change the business climate in the state, noting that it had developed a business template, which would successively bring as much as $10billion into Lagos economy within a period of time.