Lagos State Government Signs Historic Smart City Deal With Dubai

Lagos State Government Signs Historic Smart City Deal With Dubai

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.

photo 3
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right behind), with Deputy Prime Minister, United Arab Emirate (UAE) & Chairman, Dubai Holdings, Mr. Ahmad Bin Byat (left behind), watch as Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem (right) and the Chief Executive Officer, Smart City Dubai LLC, Mr. Jabber Bin Hafez (left) sign a Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) on Smart City Lagos between the City of Dubai and Lagos State Government, at the Emirate Towers, Dubai, on Monday, June 20, 2016.

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.

L-R: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem; Chief Executive Officer, Smart City Dubai LLC, Mr. Jabber Bin Hafez and Deputy Prime Minister, United Arab Emirate (UAE) & Chairman, Dubai Holdings, Mr. Ahmad Bin Byat during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) on Smart City Lagos between the City of Dubai and Lagos State Government, at the Emirate Towers, Dubai, on Monday, June 20, 2016.
L-R: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem; Chief Executive Officer, Smart City Dubai LLC, Mr. Jabber Bin Hafez and Deputy Prime Minister, United Arab Emirate (UAE) & Chairman, Dubai Holdings, Mr. Ahmad Bin Byat during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) on Smart City Lagos between the City of Dubai and Lagos State Government, at the Emirate Towers, Dubai, on Monday, June 20, 2016.

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.

photo 7

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.

photo 4
Ahmad Bin Byat (left behind); the Chief Executive Officer, Smart City Dubai LLC, Mr. Jabber Bin Hafez (left) and Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem (right) during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) on Smart City Lagos between the City of Dubai and Lagos State Government, at the Emirate Towers, Dubai, on Monday, June 20, 2016.

“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.

photo 2
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right behind); Deputy Prime Minister, United Arab Emirate (UAE) & Chairman, Dubai Holdings, Mr. Ahmad Bin Byat (left behind); the Chief Executive Officer, Smart City Dubai LLC, Mr. Jabber Bin Hafez (left) and Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem (right) during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) on Smart City Lagos between the City of Dubai and Lagos State Government, at the Emirate Towers, Dubai, on Monday, June 20, 2016.

 

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.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Meets Investors from the United Arab Emirates

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Meets Investors from the United Arab Emirates

Governor Ambode met with a team of investors from the United Arab Emirates, led by Professor Pat Utomi, restated the commitment of his administration to evolve policies and initiatives that would transform the city state into a destination for investors across the globe.

He said in less than 100 days of his administration, efforts have been made to create an atmosphere for investors to look towards the direction of the state and for existing businesses to thrive.

We’ve already created an Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment to directly deal with issues that relate to investors coming into Lagos”.

“We are committed to a situation where we would create a new city where Africans and especially Nigerians in diaspora can be proud of and then we also can be proud of”, he said.

He said that the state’s commercial strength with a population predominantly youths, makes it unarguably the home of the future of investment in Nigeria.

He assured the investors of his administration’s support in the areas they intend to partner with the government.

“We are happy to be associated with you. I want to give you our government’s commitment today that we are committed to the project that is being done by Smart City Dubai and other investors. We are also committed to giving government support in areas that would make investments easy”.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode meeting with a team of investors from the United Arab Emirates, led by Professor Pat Utomi
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode meeting with a team of investors from the United Arab Emirates, led by Professor Pat Utomi

“I want to let you know Professor Pat Utomi is somebody that has had endless passion to make this kind of investment happen in Lagos state, he’s been a major promoter of investment in Lagos and one is so excited. I want to commend you for being part of this initiative”, he said.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode also restated his commitment to the rule of law as well as judicial and security sector reforms, saying the efforts are geared towards ensuring that business transactions are done transparently.

“We would give credence to integrity of this government to make sure that whatever is being done will protect Lagos as well as investors. That’s what we are committed to. Wherever it is that we can be of help to accelerate the delivery of the project. We would do it.

“I have no doubt that wherever Professor Utomi is involved, it comes with a huge sense of integrity and that’s why we would ensure that every aspect of making sure that this project is expanded, because I am made to understand is that whatever it is that you have done, you need government commitment also”, the Governor said.

Professor Utomi, in his remarks said the group of investors from the UAE is aspiring to play a role that will significantly change the business climate in the state revealing that they are looking to invest as much as $10billion in the state within a period of time.

“Smart City Dubai which has a track record of transforming a desert village in one generation to the world’s business hub, my hope and my expectation is that this initiative will make that happen for Lagos and be part of the inspiration along with other projects that you are driving, Eko Atlantic and a host of others, to make this a hub for which the economic emancipation of the black man”, he said.