Lagos to focus more on ICT, integrated transport

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), with Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa (right) and Co-Chairman, Lagos @50 Committee, Prof. Wole Soyinka (left) during the Lagos @ 50 International Conference: Towards A Smart City at the Convention Center, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools, as well as improved transport system have been identified as veritable platforms that Lagos must leverage on to achieve the smart city status.

This came to the fore at the opening of a two day international conference tagged, “Towards a smart city: Preparing for the next 50 years’’ in Lagos.

Governor Ambode is optimistic that the conference will birth great ideas that will chart a path for Lagos in years ahead to better the lives of residents.

“Leadership must have passion and commitment for vision before it can be delivered as a product.  The next 50 years must cut out a path for us to create a framework for leaders that are not only visionary but also inspirational with passion, if Lagos must become a smart city.”

“Our State has made this commitment which has the potential to improve lives of our citizens, expand economic opportunities and access to critical public services.  The Smart City initiative is Lagos Urban Development vision to integrate all sectors of governance into one box of growth and development – through efficient service delivery to each citizen.”

“The future prosperity of Lagos is dependent on how well we can equip our children and youth with technological and educational skills they can use to develop the solutions of the future.”

“In line with our vision of a more prosperous State, this conference will focus on four key areas – ICT, Transportation, Ease of Doing Business and Tourism,” Governor Ambode stated.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right); Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa (right); Co-Chairman, Lagos @50 Committee, Prof. Wole Soyinka (2nd left) and Prof. Paul Collier from University of Oxford (left) during the Lagos @ 50 International Conference.

Golden alliance
The guest lecturer, Sir Paul Collier listed the requirements for a liveable mega city to include affordable housing and mortgage, world class transportation system that would give priority to mass transportation, as well as a vibrant tax base to encourage investment in government bonds”.

Sir Collier, a Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, United Kingdom, advised the managers of Nigeria’s growing cities to develop what he called ”a golden alliance” between the business community and local political authorising environment.

He said that there was a formidable link between population growth and transport development.

“The key elements in 21st century city are density and transport; the two must deliver good connectivity,” Collier stated.

The conference parades an array of seasoned professionals as panellists including Minister of Industry, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, Professor Pat Utomi, Aliko Dangote and Dr Doyin Salami of Lagos Business School.

The Conference is part of activities commemorating the 50th anniversary of Lagos State.

Sammie Idika