The Lagos State Government and the City of Dubai on Monday entered into a historic partnership that will see Lagos emerge as the first Smart City in Africa.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Lagos Smart City was signed at the Emirate Towers by the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem and the Chief Executive Officer of Smart City Dubai LLC, Mr. Jabber Bin Hafez.
The signing of the MOU, which would make Lagos the home of the very first Smart City in Africa, was witnessed by the Chairman of Dubai Holdings, His Excellency, Ahmad Bin Byat who is also the Deputy Prime Minister and the Lagos State Governor, Mr. 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.
Governor Ambode in a statement signed on Tuesday by the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said that the Smart City (Lagos) is expected to bring multi-billion dollars investments to the State, create 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.
“The MOU is 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, ” Governor Ambode said.
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 that 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 said, “will become an important centre for innovation 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 State Government and the Smart City Lagos project.
When completed, the Smart City Lagos will have, among other features: a 12-lane road, hotel resorts, world-class technological education facilities, a rail metroline, to mention but a few.
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, Hon. Olanrewaju Oshun, Hon. Dipo Famakinwa and Mr. Obafemi Saheed.