Expert Harps on Smart City Development as Nigeria’s Population May Hit 411m in 2050

Emma Okonji

Following the United Nation’s estimate of Nigeria’s population hitting 411 million by 2050 and the attendant rural-urban migration challenges, technology expert and Executive Chairman of SmartCity, Demola Aladekomo, has called for the development of Smart Cities in the country by government through Public Private Partnerships (PPP).

The call was made at the 8th edition of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (LCCI) 2022 Information Communication Technology and Telecommunication (ICTEL) Expo held in Lagos.

Aladekomo who is the Founder of Chams Plc, spoke on Efficient Digital Infrastructures through Smart Cities, during the expo.

According to him, migration should be seen as a process and not problem. Good management of the migrating population and understanding migration factors can help in utilising the phenomenon in a productive way without the inherent negative impacts it has on the society, he said.

According to the UN’s Population Migration Division Section, Nigeria’s population is estimated to be about 411 million by 2050 and 794 million by 2100 from the present population of about 211 million. While rural-urban migration is estimate to hit 275 million in 2050 from 76 million in 2017.

Former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, describes migration as “an expression of the human aspiration for dignity, safety and a better future. It is part of the social fabric, part of our very make-up as a human family.” 

On Smart Cities, Aladekomo said: “A smart city is a place where you live, work and play. A place that enhances the quality of life you live. In it also, you must be well entertained. Furthermore, it has to be environmentally friendly and sustainable. Smart cities generally provide better security and safety. Most importantly, its infrastructure apart from been social, physical, institutional/governance and economic, should be centred on the citizen.”

On existing and poorly structured cities, he recommended that they could be converted to smart cities by the use of polycentricity and agglomeration.

“With polycentricity, we can begin to create new decentralised cities and settlements around Lagos for example, and manage them digitally from the beginning by making them technology enabled. While at the same time these new decentralised cities should be agglomerated in a specialised form as healthcare city, technology city, agricultural city, among others. Agglomeration enhances productivity, commerce and cost optimization, job creation and poverty alleviation. Smart City Components are; Smart governance, Smart Energy, Smart citizen, Smart healthcare, Smart technology, Smart mobility, Smart building, and Smart infrastructure,” Aladekomo said.

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