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#1 2018-05-16 09:20:11

Registered: 2018-04-23
Posts: 164

Lagos forges ahead with smart city project


The world is going digital and innovation is becoming the buzz word in the information communication technology (ICT) industry. Technology giants, such as Huawei and Ericsson, have predicted how connectivity will redefine how metropolitan life is lived. Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and others are redefining security and service delivery. LUCAS AJANAKU reports that Lagos State is taking the bull by the horns through its smart city initiative.

The vision of the Lagos State government is to make the state one of the world’s knowledge hubs through the application of science and technology.

This vision is being driven largely by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), according to its Commissioner Mr Hakeem Popoola Fahm.

Speaking in Lagos during the ministerial press briefing to mark the third anniversary of Governor Akinwumi Ambode at the weekend, he said  to achieve this, the government has initiated, formulated, executed and monitored various information communication technology (ICT) policies aimed at transforming Lagos into a smart city.  He said ICT is more of a tool than a need itself, stressing that the growth of ICT in the state has affected every aspect of human lives. ICT is a major instrument being used by government to enhance service delivery strategy and bring about new innovations for the development of the economy.

He said the state Smartt City Initiative is an ambitious and all-encompassing project that will address all sectors of the economy.

What is a smart city?

Put in proper perspective, a smart city is one in which most of the facilities and infrastructure are ICT driven. It is a municipality that uses ICT to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both quality of government service s and citizens’ welfare.

Fahm said it is a comprehensive programme that seeks to provide a 24-hour driven economy, which would allow companies to operate in a safe and secure environment, thereby creating more jobs and increasing the state’s gross domestic product.

Smart Cities, according to Loxology, an online resource platform, elicit images of skyscrapers, satellite dishes and high tech gadgetry coupled with large scale broadband infrastructure, wireless networks and mobile devices. But a Smart City is much more than just technological networks; it is how a city uses new technologies for the benefit of its citizens and becomes more efficient in the process.

It said Asia has its fair share of cities considered to be Smart Cities with Singapore ranking highly. Others include Barcelona, Oslo, San Francisco, Amsterdam and London. Cities become Smart Cities by incorporating smart technologies into transport infrastructure, water systems, power supplies and government services. One thing is clear: the interplay between data and how a city becomes ‘Smart’ is key, Loxology added.

Barcelona is often held out as an example of a Smart City that innovates progressively, using new technologies to bridge the gap between the city and its citizens. The city has integrated each innovation seamlessly, with the focus on improving the mobility of its citizens, encouraging communication and improving quality of life, the environment and the economy


Fahm said the main objective of the Lagos State Smart City Initiative is to connect human capital, social capital and ICT infrastructure in order to address public issues, achieve a sustainable development and increase the quality of life of citizens within the shortest possible time.

According to him, the need for a smart city arises from global advancements in technology and its application to impact speedily in almost all challenges facing a mega city like Lagos, having the following components: e-government, safe city, mobility/WiFi/digital citizens, open data, smart farming/agriculture, smart buildings, smart grid/energy/utilities etc. The mission of smart city, he said, is to engage smart people who actively participate in governance and reforms, adding that citizens’ involvement should be much more than a ceremonial participation in governance.


He explained that security and surveillance, implementation of metro fibre network and e-governance would be the cornerstones of the project.

The project would be delivered in two phases with the first phase seeking to address security, transportation, and infrastructure.

The second phase will also continue to address security, transportation and connectivity in a sustainable manner.

The security component will deploy thousands of surveillance CCTV cameras through the length and breadth of the state.

The transportation component focuses on intelligent transport service (ITS) and the connectivity component with provision for a metro fiber network through a major internet service provider (ISP) that will eventually lead connectivity to various homes, offices and institutions in the state.

ICT sector analysts say the government is forward thinking. According to Huawei’s Global Industry Vision (GIV), by 2025, all things will be able to sense and all things will be connected, leading to a world where everything is intelligent.

The report covers three dimensions (all things connected, all things sensing, and all things intelligent) and 37 metrics, including the amount of data generated, the percentage of enterprises that adopt artificial intelligence (AI), and the number of personal smart devices.

Huawei said the number of personal smart devices will reach 40 billion and the total number of connections around the world will reach 100 billion, creating a digital economy worth $23 trillion.

All things sensing, more and better connections, bringing everything to the intelligent world, it added.

According to GIV 2025, the intelligent world will truly have arrived once all things can sense and all things are connected. By 2025, there will be 40 billion personal smart devices and 100 billion connections around the world. The Industrial Internet will be the major source of these 100 billion connections.

The massive amounts of data generated by the ability for all things to sense will be extensively integrated in all industries, forming new industries like the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and Connected Vehicles.

And with the assistance of guide robots, the world’s 39 million blind people and 246 million people with impaired vision will live normal lives.

According to GIV 2025, with high-speed connections, IoT, and AI-based cloud, +Intelligence platforms will help industries achieve leapfrog development through intelligent analysis, decision-making, and assistance.

By 2025, intelligent technology will be applied extensively in the transportation industry, with more than 60 million vehicles connected to 5G networks and 100 per cent of new vehicles connected to the Internet.

When intelligence is incorporated into manufacturing, ICT will converge with operational technology (OT) at an accelerated pace. This will generate positive returns for innovation, the industry, the value chain, and the ecosystem as a whole.

By adopting intelligence in cities, urban planners will be able to create new paths for sustainable development in security management, transportation planning, and other domains, enabling city residents to enjoy the safety, convenience, and high living standards made possible by a digital life.

Data protection law

With the smart city initiative, other electronic portals such as driver’s license processing and verification portal, educational portal, private school registration portal, online recruitment ad testing portal, land use charge, citizens gate and others,  would come as big data.

To ensure that unauthorized persons do not have access to the data, Lagos said a data protection law that would recognise the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

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