Given the importance of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in driving technology development in any economy, the Lagos State government has assured the people of Lagos and Nigerians at large that the state would work towards be upscaling of functional ICT centres in the state to the status of ICT hub, beginning with the Yaba Technology Innovation Centre.
The State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Hakeem Popoola Fahm, gave the assurance in Lagos recently, during his ministerial press briefing to commemorate the third anniversary of the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State.
According to him, “The selection process for the companies that will handle the project is ongoing. The governor has set up a committee for the establishment of ICT Hub in Lagos and the former Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson and my very self are the co-chair for that committee.
The committee is currently working on the design and framework of the ICT Hub and Accenture has been drafted to oversee the project management.”
The committee, according to the Commissioner, would complete its work in the next 18 months and after that the construction of the ICT Hub project would commence.
The hub, he added, would create the enabling environment for youths In the state to showcase their talents as future technology leaders.
“With the burgeoning youth population facing growing employment challenges, Lagos State saw the need to embrace software development and key into the vast opportunities available,” Fahm said.
Speaking on the benefits of the hub, the Commissioners said the hub is planned to be a congregation of technology entrepreneurs and support service providers to serve as the platform for the conceptualisation, germination and penetration of Information Technology (IT) services in the development of an intelligent state and country.
He said the hub would also enhance ICT competencies and the deployment of same in governance, business, and everyday life style of Lagosians in particular and Nigeria in general. The hub will also promote knowledge, employment generation/wealth creation and economic prosperity for the citizens of the state and government. Upon successful implementation of the ICT hub, Lagos State will become the catalyst for IT penetration and enablement in Nigeria and Africa, the Commissioner said.
Fahm also informed that the state has concluded on its electronic geographic information system (eGIS), designed to capture, store, manipulate data that will help the state government carryout proper planning and implementation on various projects of the state. He said the eGIS, which could be viewed and accessed from any part of the world through the use of desktop computers, tablet, laptop or any smart device that is connected to the internet, would improve the ease of doing business in the state as currently being championed by the federal government across federal ministries, departments and agencies of government, and also boost confidence of investors locally and internationally.
“The platform will provide proper monitoring of government infrastructure, promote accurate land surveys and related services, optimise revenue collection in the state from land transactions and reduce transportation costs, while it will increase incentives for private sector investment,” Fahm said.
Addressing the issue of Right of Ways (RoW) in the state, the Commissioner said the state came up with a new design for the construction of new roads, where it introduced ducts that would carry micro fibre and data for operators like Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to plug into and use it in providing internet service to different locations of the state.