By Emma Okonji
The Chief Executive Officer of 9mobile, Alan Sinfield, has affirmed the company’s support for the ‘Smart City’ initiative of the Lagos State Government.
Sinfield gave the affirmation at a panel session of the Lagos State Economic Summit – Ehingbeti 2021 themed: ‘For a Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next Decade.’
Speaking at the panel session on ‘Digital Transformation Solutions for Smart Cities’, Sinfield noted the significance of the Smart City Masterplan of Lagos State and how 9mobile would facilitate its realisation.
“At 9mobile, we are continually innovating, and smart city and smart building and other IoT solutions will be delivered through the deployment of technologies, infrastructure and by collaborating with stakeholders to provide seamless access. Telecommunications is the foundation and the critical building block for the delivery of a smart city. It supports the delivery of digital transformation and inclusion and underpins how the goals of full financial inclusion for everyone will be realised,” Sinfield said.
He added that “one additional critical element will be the service management element. We should never lose sight that once envisioned, developed, and implemented, nothing ever works well or is sustainable without the necessary support teams to maintain and keep things working. There is a real need to focus on developing the skills and support framework and not just the appealing AI/ML and technology aspects.”
Sinfield, who highlighted the telco’s outstanding service quality, further noted that digital and tech hubs are crucial for building talent. “At 9mobile, we have plans to further support an environment that enables creativity and visions to be realized by using our resources to build ICT development areas and sandboxes for entrepreneurs to develop their ideas for the future,” he said.
He also highlighted the importance of big data and data mining as the lifeline of a smart city. According to him, data remained the building block of the digital revolution, storing and profiling this for various use cases would support achieve the necessary smart city automation.
“ While discussions continue as to the extent to which humans can participate and provide real-time data input to the collective data feeding automated machine learning, first steps in this journey will rely on sensors and machine-based data which is much more reliable,” he further said.
Sinfield commended the Lagos State Government for sustaining the Ehingbeti Summit over the years while highlighting its economic impacts.
Other speakers on the panel were the West Africa Consulting Leader, Deloitte, Yemi Saka, CEO, Future Software Resources, Nkemdilim Uwaje-Begho, and CEO, Civic Consulting, USA, Alexander Shermansong.
Saka noted that “there must be an investment in human and social capital which is key to actualizing a smart city eco-system.”
Uwaje-Bengho focused on building a sustainable knowledge pipeline while using data to track and enhance capacity development for a smart city eco-system and building communal integration for an improved urban lifestyle.