The Lagos State Government has signed an agreement with the City of Dubai for the creation of Africa’s first smart city.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Lagos Smart City was on Monday signed at the Emirate Towers by the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, and the Chief Executive Officer of Smart City Dubai LLC, Jabber Bin Hafez.
The signing of the MoU, which will make Lagos the home of the very first Smart City in Africa, was witnessed by the Chairman of Dubai Holdings, Ahmad Bin Byat, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister and the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
A Smart City is a growing concept that draws from the success of Dubai’s innovative knowledge-based industry clusters “to empower business growth for companies and knowledge workers all over the world”.
In a statement issued on Tuesday and endorsed by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, the Smart City Lagos is expected to bring multi-billion-dollar investments to the city, create several thousands of jobs and transform the Ibeju-Lekki axis in particular and the entire Lagos State in general.
“This is a deliberate attempt by us to establish a strong convergence between technology, economic development and governance,” Governor Ambode was quoted in the statement as saying.
“The MoU between Lagos State Government and Dubai Holdings, LLC, owners of Smart City (Dubai) to develop a sustainable, smart, globally connected knowledge-based communities that drive knowledge economy,” he added.
The governor stated that the collaboration is part of the larger vision to make Lagos safer, cleaner and more prosperous.
He said: “A smart-city Lagos will be the pride of all Lagosians just as we have Smart City Dubai, Smart-City Malta and Smart-City Kochi (India). We are encouraged by the fact we do not, as a government, need to develop at a slow pace, but take full advantage of the digital age and fast track development of Lagos to a real megalopolis that we can all be proud of. The future is ours to take. It also marks the first smart city in Africa when completed.”
The governor added that, apart from creating jobs for the people, the project would also become the world’s first carbon neutral city. “Lagos,” he stated, “will become an important centre for innovations in smart technologies, wellness and destination for green tourism.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Deputy Prime Minister Bin Byat said the Dubai authorities were impressed with the conduct and readiness of Lagos State Government and were eager to proceed with the government and the Smart City Lagos company, which is the operating entity for the project.
When completed, the Smart City Lagos will have, among other features, a 12-lane road, hotel resorts, world-class technological education facilities and a rail metroline.
Ayorinde said the signing ceremony was also witnessed by the Chairman of Smart City Lagos Ltd, Prof. Pat Utomi; the Special Adviser to the Governor on Overseas Affairs and Investment, Prof. Ademola Abass; Chairman, Public Accounts Committee of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Olanrewaju Oshun, Dipo Famakinwa and Obafemi Saheed.