Emma Okonji

The Jalingo Smart City Tracking and Monitoring project, designed and implemented under the tutelage of the Smart City initiative of the National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA, has been globally recognised.

The project was awarded the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC), $10,000 Leadership Prize at the just- concluded Smart City Innovation Summit in Austin, Texas, United States.

The Internet of Things (IoT)-based solution, offers hope to thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Jalingo, Taraba State. It has a medium and long term plan to implement the solution throughout the North eastern region.

The project will also provide more accurate data to government agencies and support groups as well as enable citizens receive quicker and better quality response before, during and after displacements.

The GCTC is a collaborative platform enabling local governments, non-profits academic institutions, technologists and private corporations from all over the world to form project teams or “Action Clusters” in order to work on groundbreaking Internet of Things applications within the smart city environment.

Across the country, GCTC Action Clusters are working to address the country’s most pressing problems in the areas of transportation, public safety, health, education, waste management, internal revenue collection and so much more.

The Jalingo IoT based IDP Tracking and Monitoring System Action Cluster consists of the NITDA, Hope Afresh Foundation Jalingo, Jalingo Local Government Council, IDEA Hub, Land Gate Consultancy and a host of telecommunications companies in Nigeria.

Since its formation, the project has completed the Geographic Information System Mapping of Jalingo Local Government to identify areas without mobile network coverage. More features on the drawing board include a mobile application for receiving and sending messages and clearing house for data analytics.

The project also includes a social infrastructure component which covers education and skill development for children and other vulnerable groups.

Receiving the Leadership prize on behalf of Jalingo Project Team Lead, the Head, e-Government at NITDA, Mrs. Grace Amaefula and Nigeria Smart City Initiatives Programme Lead, Mr. Bernard Ewah, said large scale change in Nigeria would be possible through small efforts involving mixed communities of stakeholders, adding that the commitment from Taraba State government through the wife of the Executive Governor of Taraba state, Anna Darius Ishaku, was highly instrumental to the leadership prize award.

The Nigeria Smart City Initiatives was inaugurated in February, 2016 by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications, Sonny Echono, with the goal of enabling cities across Nigeria build smart solutions to their most pressing challenges.

Other projects include the Abuja Integrated Transportation Project, the Ibadan Smart Waste Collection and Mapping System, The Awka Smart Internally Generated Revenue Collection Project, The Port Harcourt Traffic Flow Control System and the Smart Education Management Hubs in Sokoto and Kaduna cities.

All projects under the programme are achieved on a public private partnership basis with strong emphasis on the use of indigenous software solutions.